A SON who murdered his mother in what a judge described as an “utterly unnatural” killing, has been jailed for at least 17 years.

Paul Stones was yesterday sentenced to life behind bars after he was found guilty of strangling his mother Marian Stones at the home they shared in Park Terrace, Eagley.

Judge Michael Henshall, at Manchester Crown Court, told Stones it will be 17 years before he can be considered for parole.

The judge said: “This was an appalling offence and, because it involved a son killing his mother, which is a rare occurrence, it could be described as utterly unnatural.”

During a two-week trial, 38-year-old Stones had admitted killing his 58-year-old mother during a row.

But the father-of-one denied murder, claiming that his violent behaviour was caused by the anti-depressants he was taking.

The jury rejected his argument and he stood emotionless in the dock as Judge Henshall told him the underlying cause of his aggression towards his mother and two other women he had lived with his wife, Emma Hinsley and the mother of his daughter, Claire Nicholls, was alcohol.

Judge Henshall told Stones: “Apart from your mother there have been two women in your life.

“Although neither woman suffered any significant violence from you, they both realised that you had the capacity to become violent after you had been drinking and both of them were frightened to such an extent that they left you.”

In court Ms Stones, a single mother, was described as having a loving but volatile relationship with her only child.

On June 9 last year, former hotel manager Stones had drunk one and a half bottles of wine during the evening he spent at home with his mother.

He claimed in court to have only hazy memories of her killing, but said that he remembered strangling her with his hands then tucking her in bed and leaving her body until the next day when he handed himself in to police.

Benjamin Nolan QC, in mitigation, told the court that Stones was remorseful about the murder and tears he had shed while giving evidence in the witness box were “more than crocodile tears”.

Judge Henshall said he accepted Stones’ remorse was genuine and although there was no clear evidence about the method used by him to strangle his mother, it is certain that he did it and that beforehand he had beaten her about the face as she tried to fight him off.

“Whatever the method, death by strangulation is an appalling act to contemplate,” Judge Henshall told Stones.

“Your mother would clearly have suffered before she died whilst you carried about, what can only be described, as a determined and sustained attack on her.

“In this particular case it is difficult to conceive how you could not have intended to kill her when you clearly choked her by whatever means until she expired.”

Speaking after the sentencing Greater Manchester Police’s senior investigating officer Andrew Tattersall described the murder as a “complete tragedy.”

He added: “Only Paul Stones knows why he took the life of his own mother, who did not deserve this fate.

“Stones now has to live with what he has done for the rest of his life.”

See more on Paul Stones here:

Murderer Paul Stones' history of violence and broken relationships

Murderer Paul Stones was 'Jekyll and Hyde' character