A young girl was left cowering behind the legs of a neighbour crying that a man was trying to kill her and a woman, Inverness Sheriff Court was told.
Sitting in the dock with his head in his hands, 40-year-old Martin Murray admitted assaulting the woman in an incident at a block of flats in Inverness on December 27 last year.
The court heard that the young girl witnessed Murray attacking his victim, seizing her by the throat, compressing it to an extent she thought she was going to die, and chasing her in her bare feet.
Sheriff Gary Aitken said: “This is a very grave and appalling offence”. He remanded Murray in custody and deferred sentence until May 21 for a background report.
Defence solicitor Clare Russell appealed for her client to be given his liberty, adding that he had been diagnosed as suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome.
Sheriff Aitken dismissed her plea, adding: “Don’t try and pull at the heart-strings.”
Fiscal depute Robert Weir said the kitchen window of the woman’s ground floor flat was left slightly ajar when she went to bed. Later that night, she was wakened by banging, got up and saw Murray in her hallway.
“As a result of the incident, she suffered minor injuries to her feet running barefoot away from the flat.” Mr Weir said.