Musician jailed for the murder of his wife, renowned pianist Natalia Strelchenko

Natalia Strelchenko Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A classical musician who beat and strangled his wife to death at their home in Manchester has been jailed for life.

John Martin, 48, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court on Friday of killing Natalia Strelchenko, a world-renowned pianist, at their home on their second wedding anniversary.

Martin will serve at least 18 years.

He was cleared of the attempted murder of a male youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The trial heard that the couple had a volatile relationship and would row about Ms Strelchenko's lack of household chores and financial contributions.

John Martin Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Martin claimed he had no memory of pushing her, falling down the stairs or of the struggle that followed, after taking a mix of alcohol and diazepam, which he said he had mistaken for his anti-depressant medication.

A consultant psychiatrist for the defence told the jury he believed Martin was suffering at the time from "a severe depressive episode".

When police arrived at their home in Culcheth Lane on August 30, Martin repeatedly said "kill me, kill me please, I have nothing to live for, I do not deserve to live", which was caught on an officer's bodycam.

Greater Manchester Police video below - WARNING: you may find the contents upsetting:

Ms Strelchenko, who attended the prestigious St Petersburg State Conservatory in her homeland and performed in concerts with a full orchestra, died a short time later in hospital.