Charles Jack Wheeliker has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the strangling death last year of his partner, Troy Francis Johnston.

According to the Crown, 46-year-old Wheeliker and 35-year-old Johnston were in a relationship and living together in Sydney.

Prosecutors said the couple was highly intoxicated on Aug.17, 2012, when they began to argue about a former girlfriend of Johnston's.

Charles Jack Wheeliker

Charles Jack Wheeliker pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the strangling death of his partner, Troy Francis Johnston. (CBC)

The court heard Wheeliker strangled Johnston with a belt and then told neighbours he came home to the Townsend Street apartment and found him unconscious.

Emergency crews were called to the apartment at approximately 11:45 p.m. that night and tried unsuccessfully to revive Johnston. Wheeliker was arrested shortly after.

Johnston's family said they're relieved Wheeliker changed his plea.

"Troy was a very respectful man," said Krystal Denny, Johnston's cousin.

"He was very, very loving. He loved his family. He was very close to all of his friends and family, did anything for anybody. I don't really feel this should have happened to him. I am satisfied that he is going to be spending probably his whole life in prison."

Wheeliker's sentencing hearing will start on Dec. 17.