How 52-year marriage ended in beloved wife's senseless... trends now
In December 2020, Maria Ratke went to bed with plans to go Christmas shopping the following day.
Moments later, she was viciously murdered by her husband of 52 years Heinz Ratke inside their Katoomba home west of Sydney in an attempted murder suicide.
Details of the tragic and senseless attack were heard in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday as Ratke, 76, was sentenced to 17 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to murder.
Ratke has been told he can expect to die in jail.
Justice Richard Weinstein described the killing as 'bizarre' and 'strange' after Ratke stabbed his wife, 71, as she lay in bed.
Maria Ratke (left) was murdered by her husband Heinz Ratke (right) almost three years ago
'Some of her wounds were defensive, which indicates that she was aware of being attacked by the person she loved and trusted most,' Justice Weinstein said.
Following his arrest, Ratke told police that she had planned to go Christmas shopping the following day.
But she did not know they were facing financial difficulties after their money had run out.
'He said that he came up with the idea to kill his wife to spare her from their financial problems and to avoid being embarrassed by him and his failings,' Justice Weinstein said.
'He formed the idea to kill himself after he killed his wife.'
The court heard it's not known