THE official medical cause of death is still pending in the case of an elderly woman whose husband has been accused of murdering her, a court has been told.

Gian Kaur Bhandal, aged 82, of Country Park Avenue in Halesowen, was found dead at a property in Trehernes Drive, Pedmore, Stourbridge, on January 23 this year.

The death of Mrs Bhandal, a housewife who was born in India, was reported to the coroner and a police investigation was launched - Zafar Siddique, senior coroner for the Black Country, told Black Country Coroner's Court in Oldbury as an inquest was opened and adjourned today (Thursday August 13).

He said: "We are told her her husband (Pargan Singh Bhandal) has been charged with an allegation of murder. The matter has now been sent to crown court and a criminal trial will take place later this year or early next year."

But he told the court the cause of death was still pending - awaiting medical and a pathologist's evidence.

Given that a criminal trial is awaited, he said: "I'm going to suspend the inquest but can I offer my condolences to the family of the late Mrs Bhandal."