A MAN who denies trying to strangle his partner to death would only have had to apply pressure for 10 seconds before she became unconscious, a court has heard.

Medical experts addressed a jury in the trial of RAF pilot Timothy Barry yesterday, who stands accused of attempted murder of squadron leader Sarah Seddon.

While the 31-year-old admits assaulting her on January 14, at the home they shared in Cuxham, South Oxfordshire, he denies that there was any intent to take her life.

He rang 999 for help when she lost consciousness, after a drunken row escalated into the assault.

Home Office pathologist Alexander Kolar told the court yesterday: "You could apply next to no pressure - if you apply it in the right place, someone could go unconscious. By contrast, you could apply lots of force in the wrong place, and the person won't."

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Dr Kolar said in the case of Ms Seddon, there had been 'more than a gentle amount of force' but added: "The precise amount is not possible to delineate.

"There is evidence of the presence of bruising of the skin surface, which indicates force has been applied that is sufficient to break blood vessels.

"Any pressure presents a risk to life but I can't say in this case how close to death the patient was."

He said he could not ascertain how long pressure had been applied for, but said it would have been a minimum of 10 seconds to cause loss of consciousness.

He stressed he was unable to give a more specific estimation.

The court heard that Ms Seddon was admitted to hospital shortly after 2am and, when she was discharged at 4.30pm, the hospital records noted there was 'no bruise, no swelling, no redness and no tenderness'.

The trial continues.