THE jury are set to retire today (Wednesday) to consider the evidence in the trial of a Dudley man accused of brutally battering a good friend to death with a hammer.

William Spence, aged 39, is alleged to have savagely lashed out at 47 year-old Kevin Jones at his home in Buxton Road, after the two men got involved in a heated argument on bonfire night last year.

And the row ended with Spence repeatedly hitting Mr Jones on the head with the hammer causing serious brain injuries from which he died at the scene.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how his mother, Jean Jones, aged 74, threw herself onto the body of her son to try and protect him from the blows and she too was struck with the hammer.

When she shouted at Spence to stop he refocused his blows on Kevin Jones which, maintain the prosecution, shows he knew exactly what he was doing.

Spence has admitted to the eight man- four woman jury he has suffered from mental health problems for a number of years and he continues to have regular reviews with his psychiatrist.

He revealed that at the time of the killing he was "hearing voices" in his head and both he and Mr Jones had been drinking heavily and taking drugs.

Spence said he refused to give Mr Jones money for more crack cocaine and as a result he decided to leave the house where they were both living with his mother in Buxton Road, Woodside.

Mr Jones, he went on, threatened to stab him with a knitting needle before kicking him in the back as he went downstairs and punching him in the face.

He said he went to get the hammer from underneath Mr Jones' bed and he struck out adding: "I was hitting him on the head. I just lost it."

Spence who formally lived in Fullwood Crescent, Dudley has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Jones and also denied assaulting Mrs Jean Jones causing her actual bodily harm.

Judge John Warner is expected to complete his summing up of the case today before sending the jury out for their deliberations.