A police inspector has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his detective constable wife, whose body was discovered in a lake.
Darren McKie, 43, changed his plea to admit killing wife Leanne, a 39-year-old detective constable, just before he was due to give evidence at Chester Crown Court on Thursday.
He continues to deny her murder.
McKie, wearing a dark suit, appeared to show no emotion as he entered the guilty plea after the conclusion of the prosecution case.
Judge Mr Justice Spencer told the jury: “He now accepts he unlawfully killed his wife, Leanne McKie.
“The issue will be whether the killing is not just manslaughter but murder, murder requiring an intent to kill or cause serious harm.”
Trevor Burke QC, defending, said he would be calling no evidence in the case.
The court has heard the couple, from Wilmslow, had more than £100,000 of debt at the time of her death, including £45,000 on credit cards, £40,000 on loans and £17,000 owed for work carried out on their new house.
Mrs McKie sent her husband a text saying “liar” on the morning of her death, after discovering he had applied for a £54,000 loan in her name, the jury has been told.
Her body was found at about 3.45am on September 29, and the court has heard a post-mortem examination showed evidence consistent with her having been strangled to death at about midday the day before.
The trial was adjourned until Monday at midday.