A MAN has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a St Ives mother killed in her home last year, a court has heard.

John Mearns, 54, was charged with the murder of Pauline Smith, who was found dead at her home in Gainsborough Drive on October 27.

Mearns, of no fixed abode, was told he faced a two-week trial when he appeared at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (February 17).

He spoke softly to confirm his name and enter his plea.

A post mortem showed Ms Smith, 54, had died from "compression to the neck".

He was remanded in custody until the hearing, which will take start on April 18 or May 21.