A MAN who repeatedly punched his ex-partner and twice put his hands around her throat during a drunken attack has appeared in court.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard the victim feared she was going to die as Richard Berry throttled her.

Berry, 46, of Duke Street, Clayton-le-Moors, pleaded guilty to the recently introduced charge of strangulation.

He was committed into custody to next appear at Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced on Friday, July 8.

Graeme Tindall, prosecuting, said a charge of causing actual bodily harm had been replaced by the offence of strangulation.

He said Berry turned up at his ex-partner's address drunk and upset.

"He said he couldn't believe what she had done to him and then, all of a sudden became angry," said Mr Tindall.

Berry punched the victim to the head and then put his hands around her throat saying he was going to kill her.

"She pleaded with him not to do it," said Mr Tindall. "She eventually got out of the house but he followed her and dragged her back by the hair."

Berry dragged her into the conservatory where he kicked her repeatedly before starting to strangle her again.

"They ended up back in the bedroom where he repeated the threat to kill her," said Mr Tindall.

"He eventually passed out and she took the opportunity to flee from the house and call the police."

Gareth Price, mitigating, said his client had one previous conviction for assault back in 1995 but accepted the offence was beyond the sentencing powers of the magistrates.

Due to the seriousness of the offence, the magistrates sent the case to crown court for Berry to be sentenced.