A MURDERER who killed his mother at her Sharples home has had an appeal against his conviction thrown out by top judges.

Paul Stones, aged 40, strangled his 58-year-old mum Marian to death in a drunken outburst in Park Terrace, Sharples, Bolton, in June 2012.

Stones claimed the the violent episode was triggered by anti-depression medication and that he did not know what he was doing at the time.

His lawyers appealed on the basis that this should have been more central to his trial at Manchester Crown Court in July 2013, after which he was found guilty and jailed for life.

London's Court of Appeal rejected the appeal at a hearing on April 29, describing the conviction as "safe".

Stones, who appeared at court via a video link from prison, held his hands over his face as his appeal was dismissed.

His barrister, David Martin-Sperry, made a number of criticisms of the crown court judge, prosecution experts and Stones' legal team at trial.

Stones throttled his mother in her bedroom during a row, before handing himself in to police the following day.

He admitted killing her and said: "I just snapped, I just made the decision that I wasn't putting up with it any longer".

Stones blamed anti-depressant medication sertroline for the fatal attack, after he had swallowed three times his regular dose before the killing, and been drinking heavily.

He claimed the combined effects of the drug, the alcohol and his depression diminished his responsibility to such an extent he could not be guilty of murder - which the jury rejected.

Mr Martin-Sperry argued this issue was not explored properly at trial and said more research should have been done to see if sertroline could cause "violent outbursts" in rare cases.

But, dismissing the appeal, Lady Justice Hallett said any such evidence would not have been enough and that Stones would have had to convince jurors the drug's effects had in fact triggered his outburst when he killed his mother.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Saunders and Mr Justice Andrews, also said there was other evidence of his motive to consider.

She added: "We disagree that there was little in the way of motive to explain the rare act of matricide, apart from the irregular ingestion of the sertroline.

"Stones has a history of drinking to excess, of losing his temper and of violent outbursts - particularly towards women. Clear evidence was called in support of that."

She also rejected criticism of Stones' lawyers at trial, saying it was "not possible" to run a defence that Stones was not in control of his actions when he killed his mother, in light of his own admissions to police.

The judge added: "The words, 'I just made the decision I was not putting up with it any longer', were fatal to any such defence".

He will have to serve at least 17 years behind bars before any chance of parole.