A SON who killed his mother by throwing her off a balcony at a care home has walked free from court. 

Robert Knight was initially charged with murdering mum June Knight, 79, after the incident in Langley Lodge care home in Westcliff on December 10 last year.

Knight had always admitted killing his mum but denied murdering her, saying he lost control of himself at the time.

A jury cleared him of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter. 

Today Knight, 52, of The Fairway, Leigh, was handed two years in jail, suspended for two years.

Sentencing him, Judge Samantha Leigh said: "The defendant who I accept knew his mother best was firmly of the belief that his mother was suffering.

"It's very firmly a mercy killing in my view with exceptional circumstances, for example the devotion you've shown to your mother throughout your life."

Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten, of our Serious Crime Directorate, said: “June Knight was receiving end of life care before she was killed by her only child, Robert Knight.

“He had regularly visited his mother and there were no signs that this horrific incident would take place.

“The jury carefully considered the facts of the case and agreed that Knight suffered a loss of control when he took his mother’s life. 

“The care-home staff and the attending police officers were faced with a horrific scene and I would like to thank them for their efforts to save June Knight. 

"I would also like to thank the care home for their assistance during our investigation and I hope the staff and residents are able to move forward with their lives."

He added: “June Knight’s death has been a particularly harrowing case. 

"I do not doubt that Robert Knight loved his mother deeply, but his actions were deplorable and they have affected many, many people. 

"My thoughts are with June and the care home staff, police and ambulance teams that tried to save her and will still have to deal with what they saw. 

"Robert Knight will now need to live with his actions for the rest of his life.”