A DUDLEY man told a jury he "lost it" when he battered a good mate to death with a hammer after they had both taken a cocktail of drink and drugs.

William Spence claimed he had been kicked down stairs by Kevin Jones and then punched in the face after they argued because he would not give him the money to buy more crack cocaine.

"I just lost the plot when he attacked me," said Spence who admitted to a jury he had suffered from mental health problems for years and he suffered from schizophrenia.

"Kevin was a good mate - I didn't have other mates as good as him," said Spence. "When we were together we got up to all sorts. Smoking crack cocaine, taking heroin and we also drank strong lagers."

He said the pair argued for about an hour when he refused to hand over the money and it was when he went to leave the house where they both lived in Buxton Road, Woodside that he was attacked.

"He picked up a spike and he went to stab me with it," said Spence. "It was like a knitting needle. His mother then got between us and I went to leave.

"I was going down the stairs when I felt a kick in my back. I turned round and I asked him why he did it. He told me to go. I was trying to go but he was blocking my path."

Spence told Wolverhampton Crown Court that he went to Kevin Jones' bedroom and picked up the hammer because he wanted to "threaten" him with the weapon.

"He was still blocking my path," he went on. "He punched me in the face and I hit him with the hammer around the head. He went straight down."

Spence said he then struck 47-year-old Mr Jones twice in the back with the hammer and again in the head. "His mom came out of the kitchen.

"I was hitting him on the head and she dived on top of him. I didn't do anything to her. I stopped and left. I left the hammer. I don't know why I hit him with it. I just lost it."

The 39-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Spence on Bonfire night last year and he has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of assaulting his mother Mrs Jean Jones causing her actual bodily harm.

Spence had denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mrs Jones but they were directed by Judge John Warner to return a verdict of not guilty on that charge.

The prosecution have alleged Spence brutally murdered his friend and he had refocused his attack on Mr Jones after Mrs Jones had screamed at him to stop hitting her with the hammer when she threw herself on the body of her son.

The trial is continuing and the eight man-four woman are expected to retire next week to consider the evidence.