CHESTER, England -- When detectives unearthed a woman's skull in a peat bog near his home, Peter Reyn-Bardt reportedly confessed to murdering his wife.
The skull turned out to be that of a woman who died about 1,600 years ago, a jury was told Monday.
A court in the northern English city of Chester trying Reyn-Bardt for the murder of his wife heard that experts dated the excavated skull to the year 410.
'The skull had been preserved in the peat bog for over 16 centuries and obviously has nothing to do with Malika Reyn-Bardt,' said prosecutor Martin Thomas.
'But the supreme irony is this: its discovery led directly to the arrest of the defendant and to his detailed confession,' Thomas said.
Despite the apparent confession, Reyn-Bardt pleaded innocent to strangling Malika, to whom he proposed two hours after they met and whom he married four days later in 1959. No trace of her body has ever been found.
In his alleged confession, Reyn-Bardt said he strangled his wife and hacked up her body when 'she threatened to expose my homosexuality, blackmail me and disgrace me.' Dismembering her body, he allegedly said, was 'a terrible mess. I was covered in blood.'
His trial was expected to continue for several days.