AN alcoholic father from Finsbury Park strangled his wife to death with his bare hands while their four children slept after flying into a violent rage, a court heard this week.

Ronald Tyler, 46, throttled his wife Julie McKinley in the bedroom of their flat, in Stroud Green Road, after she taunted him that he was not the father of their 22-month-old son.

The pair had been in a "tempestuous" relationship for more 16 years, married for three, and often came to blows over his drinking and jealousy, the victim's sister told an Old Bailey jury.

Jacqueline McKinley also recalled an incident when Mr Tyler, known as Ronnie, punched Julie in the face sending her flying into kitchen shelves.

Mr Tyler, admitted he "squashed her throat" in a bid to shut her up, when she made the accusation in the early hours of December 31, 2009, but denies murder.

Julie had returned home late the previous evening after spending the day at a family gathering in Crouch End.

She found a note which read: "I have gone looking for you. You should have phoned me. Your phone has been turned off."

Prosecutor Michael Shorrock QC said: "They had a turbulent relationship that was marked by domestic violence and disputes.

"You may think they show this defendant is a man who was obsessively jealous of Julie McKinley and had a violent temper particularly when in drink."

When Mr Tyler returned the pair got into an argument which triggered the attack.

He then tucked Julie up in bed, pulling the covers up to her chin.

Mr Tyler then fled the flat leaving their toddler asleep in the cot beside her, and their three other daughters alone and asleep in the next room.

He was filmed on CCTV bolting over a wall and heading to Green Lanes where he bought a can of super strength lager and a newspaper.

More than an hour later, at 6.20am, he called emergency services, briskly stating the address, before adding: "You will find a dead body there, but be careful there's four children asleep as well, ok?"

He then hung up and went on the run. He spent the following two nights sleeping rough in Tottenham Marshes and Chestnuts Park until he was recognised by police and arrested.

Mr Tyler's lawyer, Graham Trembath QC, is expected to argue he was provoked and will also claim diminished responsibility.

Crying in the dock, Ms McKinley was forced to listen to extracts of her police interview.

She told officers that if Julie, an attractive woman with a bubbly character, was in a room with 100 men she would always choose "the bad egg" and knew how to push her husband's buttons.

In January 2004, Julie alleged Mr Tyler had punched her in the stomach and throttled her until she momentarily blacked out.

She obtained a non-molestation order later which was renewed for 12 months on March 16, 2004.

Two months later she withdrew the complaint and the pair reconciled.

In April 2006, she made another complaint and Mr Tyler was convicted of abusive behaviour.

He was made subject to another non-molestation order in April 2008 following another attack and was convicted of common assault.

Mr Tyler was jailed for a year on July 28, 2009, but released three months later in October 2009 and was collected from prison by his wife.

Ms McKinley told jurors: "She could not help herself. She loved him."

The trial continues