A DISABLED man grabbed his neighbour by the throat after their friendship turned sour, a court heard yesterday.

Kenneth Frid, 55, had helped Lianne Cain move into the flat opposite his in Inverary Close, Darlington, and lent her money.

But he became angry early one morning when she hung up on him after he rang to ask for help.

Prosecutor Derek Walton told South Durham Magistrates' Court how Ms Cain had been befriended by Frid when she moved into the block of flats.

At 7am on March 5 this year he rang her to say he was feeling upset.

"She was asleep in bed," said Mr Walton. "Due to the early hour she put the phone down on him."

An hour later, she heard banging on her front door and opened it to find Frid shouting at her.

He said the pair argued before Frid pushed the door, causing Ms Cain to stumble into the flat.

"She pushed him back," said Mr Walton. "At this point he grabbed hold of her throat and by doing so she indicated that he constricted her windpipe.

"She managed to push him off."

Ms Cain called police but did not need medical treatment after the attack, he added.

Frid, who uses a walking stick and is in poor health, admitted assaulting his neighbour.

His solicitor Rory Todd said the two had built up a relationship where they depended on one another.

"They had each other's keys," he said. "They had an agreement that if he was feeling ill or needing looking after he could give her a ring.

"He had been very ill on this occasion. She basically refused to come and help him and I think that was the trigger for what happened.

"He felt aggrieved by the lack of assistance."

He said Frid was of previous good character and had instantly regretted the incident.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge by magistrates and ordered to pay £50 prosecution costs.