A chef killed his wife with a griddle pan and put her body in a freezer, the Old Bailey heard today.
Peter Wallner was caught three years later after he put wife Melanie's body in a wheelie bin outside their home in Surrey, the jury heard.
Bobbie Cheema, prosecuting, said Wallner admitted manslaughter, claiming he had not intended to do serious harm to Mrs Wallner, 30.
'He then ordered a freezer from Argos and when it arrived a few days later, he put her body into the freezer.
'He left her there for nearly three years, telling friends, family and work colleagues and anyone else who inquired about her that she had died suddenly from natural causes
Miss Cheema added: 'When last year he had to move out of the house they had shared, he sold the freezer and tried to dispose of the body of his wife in a large wheelie bin which he no doubt hoped would be mechanically emptied into a refuse lorry.
'After the discovery of the body and after he had been arrested, he told police that he had hit his wife with a heavy pan during an argument and had done so in self-defence because she had attacked him.'
German-born Wallner allegedly said he knew she was dead when he checked her pulse.
Because of decomposition, the cause of death could not be fully determined.
Miss Cheema said: 'It became clear during the detailed police investigation following the discovery of Melanie's body, dumped in a plastic wheelie bin to be found by her landlords after the defendant left, that he had told many and various lies.'
But by 2006 the marriage was breaking down and Wallner had become "infatuated" with Emma Harrison, a wedding planner at work, said Miss Cheema.
The day after the killing, Wallner bought her a champagne dinner on his birthday before having sex in the house where the body lay undetected, the jury was told.
The following day, he bought a freezer and put it in a garden shed, said Miss Cheema.
He then spun a web of lies to the family of his dead wife, telling them she had died suddenly from a burst blood vessel in the brain.
He filled an urn with wood ashes from his barbecue and organised a memorial service to her where he played the grieving husband
, the court heard.
Three years later, before Wallner left the home, he sold the freezer and put the body in the bin.
He instructed the neighbours to ensure the bins were emptied but the binmen refused to take that bin because it was too heavy, the jury heard.