An elderly Waikato man is to defend a charge of the attempted murder of his wife after an alleged failed suicide pact between the couple.
The 81-year-old was granted further interim name suppression when he appeared before Justice Timothy Brewer in the High Court at Hamilton this morning.
The charge stems from an incident in the couple's rural home town on October 12.
The man's lawyer Roger Laybourn successfully applied for continued interim name suppression to protect not only his client's mental health but also that of his wife.
He said the alleged incident was a result of a suicide pact between the couple.
Justice Brewer described it as a "very sad case".
While Laybourn was yet to enter a plea, Justice Brewer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf so that the judicial process could continue.
The judge said with him entering the plea any impact of a change in plea wouldn't impact the accused and any discounts he would be entitled to.
Justice Brewer also set a trial date for one week from August 2 next year.
He also ordered a report to be completed for the accused's mental capacity to stand trial.
The accused, who was charged the day the country's euthanasia referendum results were announced, was granted further bail to reappear in January.
The Herald understands the wife was unharmed after the incident and that they had been together for more than 50 years.