A RESPECTED community radio DJ who had looked after her former son-in-law through his drugs battles ended up being choked by him, a court heard.

Victim Annette Martens ended up passing out as a result of the attack by McDara Bardon in her Ramsbottom home, Minshull Street Crown Court was told.

Though unconnected with the attack, say prosecutors, 73-year-old Miss Martens died two weeks later.

She had "emotionally and financially" supported Bardon for years and despite his actions he was left distraught by her death.

Bardon, 48, of Canon Hussey Court, Islington Court, Salford, pleaded guilty to assaulting Miss Martens on June 4 last year.

He was given a 12-month community order, which includes 25 rehabilitation activity days with the probation service and a 12-month drug treatment and testing order.

Passing sentence, Judge Maurice Greene said: "You say that you loved her but this was not the way you deal with someone you love."

But the judge said he accepted that Bardon had a number of mental health problems and was detoxifying from heroin at the time of the attack.

Eleanor Gleeson, prosecuting, said the defendant and Ms Martens first met in the 1990s through their local church. He had married her daughter, though they separated soon afterwards.

But Miss Gleeson said: "Miss Martens continued to be a maternal influence. The victim tried to help him emotionally and financially."

And the court heard that although he could be "controlling and aggressive" towards her, she continued to look after him.

The court was told that Miss Martens lost touch with a number of her family members because of her continued association with Bardon, who would stay at her Ramsbottom home despite having his own place.

Miss Gleeson said Bardon arrived at Miss Martens' home on June 4 last year in a temper, accusing the victim of calling him a rapist.

She could see that he was "frothing at the mouth" and he placed his hands around her throat and squeezed until she passed out.

She eventually regained consciousness and screamed for help, hoping to alert her neighbours. Bardon had stepped away but returned and threw her onto a bed, where he began throttling her again.

Miss Martens later told police: "I thought I was going to die".

Miss Gleeson told the court it was only when she pleaded for help again that Bardon relented and stormed off.

The court heard Miss Martens later turned up for a shift on hospital radio at Fairfield General Hospital and colleagues noticed she was bruised.

She was persuaded to contact the police and Bardon was eventually arrested.

Later she told police that she had already suffered two heart attacks and the situation with Bardon was causing her further stress. She insisted that he needed professional help for his problems.

Bardon did have previous convictions, the court head, including one past offence of assault. But he had not been in any trouble since 2010.