A STOURBRIDGE man killed his "difficult" mother when he pushed or threw her to the floor during a Christmas Eve argument over potatoes, a court heard.

Mark Jennens said he "lost it" during a call to the emergency services - later adding that it was the last time she was "going to speak to him like that".

Rachel Brand QC, prosecuting, said it was accepted Jennens had not intended to kill or cause serious harm to his 78-year-old mother Hazel but she was a woman who was not in good health.

She was frail, had lung cancer, pulmonary disease and a weakening of the bones, Miss Brand told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

When she hit the floor at their home in Sorrell Walk, Amblecote, she broke her hip and died just under a month later on January 20 last year as a direct consequence of having been hospitalised as a result of the injury.

The pair had argued and Jennens got up and either pushed or threw her to the floor, alleged Miss Brand to the six-man six-woman jury.

Afterwards Jennens dialled 999 and he told the operator: "I just lost it with my mother and I threw her to the floor, I think she broke her pelvis."

Mrs Jennens told paramedics the same thing with Mark Jennens later maintaining he had picked her up to frogmarch her out of the room and she had slipped out of his hands.

Miss Brand has claimed it was the unlawful act carried out by Jennens against his vulnerable mother that was ultimately responsible for her death.

It was an unlawful assault, she went on, and the type of assault that could have caused the risk of serious harm to his frail, elderly mother.

The fractured hip led to her being hospitalised and the need for surgery and that led to her immobility with the risk of the respiratory problem that caused her death.

Jennens, who had suffered a nervous breakdown and now took anti-depressants, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

Miss Brand told the jury it was impossible to say just how much longer Mrs Jennens would have lived her she not been assaulted.

It was "some sort of push or throw" that took her to the floor, she alleged, with Jennens telling police officers in interview that she had slipped out of his hands as he tried to frogmarch her out of the room.

A post mortem later confirmed Mrs Jennens, who initially showed signs of recovery in hospital before going downhill dramatically, had died from respiratory failure due to bronchopneumonia.

That was something elderly patients were prone to suffer and Mrs Jennens was a woman who was vulnerable and already suffering from a lung disease, the court was told.

The jury heard a recording of the 999 call made by Jennens to the emergency services and his mother came on the line to say she had been "thrown" but she stressed she no longer felt threatened by her son.

The trial, which is expected to end next week, continues.