Vic woman strangled with cord, court told

Mehmed Solmaz is charged with murdering Fatma Solmaz, 61, last May at her Sunshine West home.A Melbourne woman was hit on the head with a wooden table leg and strangled with electrical cord by her former husband, a court has heard.
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Mehmed Solmaz, 61, has been ordered to stand trial for murdering Fatma Solmaz, 61, at their Sunshine West home last May.

He entered a plea of not guilty, claiming to police his former wife assaulted him with the same wooden table leg and he acted in self-defence.

A forensic examination of Solmaz after his ex-wife’s death found he had minor injuries that were expected to heal.

Despite being divorced, the former couple lived together up until Ms Solmaz’s death.

Their two adult sons were in court for Tuesday’s committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Police allege that after Solmaz assaulted his ex-wife with the table leg and strangled her, he fled to Queensland.

He was arrested after Ms Solmaz’s body was found and extradited to Victoria.

An autopsy showed she suffered blunt force trauma injuries to her head, which rendered her unconscious, before she was strangled, forensic pathologist Dr Michael Burke told the court.

The defence suggested Solmaz spoke of noises in his head in the aftermath of Ms Solmaz’s death.

However, detective leading senior constable Joseph Strachan said he had no concerns about Solmaz being unfit for interview and his only complaint was a sore back.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani said the case against Solmaz was “overwhelmingly strong”.

“Ms Solmaz was in no position to threaten or harm Mr Solmaz at the time she died – she was unconscious,” she said.

“She posted no risk at all to you (Mr Solmaz), according to the evidence.

“It’s an overwhelmingly strong case.”

Ms Bazzani said from the accounts given, Ms Solmaz was a hard working woman devoted to her family.

“Tragically she died in her own home,” she said.

Solmaz, who was aided in court by a Turkish interpreter, was remanded in custody to appear in the Supreme Court for trial directions on Thursday.

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