A WOMAN thought she was going to die at the hands of her naked partner, a court heard.

Christopher Berry pressed the Old Town woman’s throat with such force she was unable to breathe.

“She says while he was doing this she thought she was going to die,” prosecutor Pauline Lambert told Swindon Magistrates’ Court.

Berry, 42, of Edinburgh Street, Gorse Hill, had pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at an earlier hearing. Magistrates deemed the offence so serious they sent his case to Swindon Crown Court for sentencing.

JPs heard Berry had been in an on-off relationship with his victim. She had moved away to Bristol, staying away for five years.

However, the relationship was rekindled when she moved back to Swindon for a new job.

On February 16, Berry had been at the pub, drunk a large amount of alcohol and returned to her home on Western Street, Ms Lambert said.

“She says when he’s intoxicated he tends to urinate himself. Because of that, she set up a sofa bed for him to stay on for the night - rather than him urinating in her bed.”

At 4.30am she awoke to hear him urinating. She questioned him, asking “what are you playing at?”

Berry, who was naked at the time, was said to have got on top of his partner and used both hands to strangle her.

She rolled herself into the foetal position, as Berry repeatedly punched her body. Ms Lambert said he then “got off her and went back to the sofa bed”. The woman was said to have been in fear for her life.

She fled the house and tried to call the Samaritans before finally calling for an ambulance. Paramedics took her to hospital.

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In a victim impact statement, the woman said the attack had left her suffering from post-traumatic stress and she had been prescribed medication to cope with the the trauma.

She was still suffering with neck and throat pain for five weeks after the incident and still found it difficult to swallow or turn her head to the side.

“She says she couldn’t go out for her birthday because she was anxious,” Ms Lambert said.

The incident had “ruined her life”, the prosecutor added.

Magistrates were told that, in interview, Berry claimed he had “snapped”: “He was in a rage. He remembers hitting her, but not much else.”

Berry was unrepresented at the hearing. Due to the seriousness of the charge, magistrates told him he would need to be sentenced by a judge at the crown court.

He was bailed to appear at Swindon Crown Court on April 19. Under his bail conditions, Berry must not contact his former partner or go within 250m of her Western Street home.