"Mum's dead. I strangled her. She's dead".

These were the words Terrence David Kain uttered to his sister after killing their mother in their southern NSW home.

Now, more than two years later, Kain has been sentenced to a minimum of four years for the manslaughter of his 74-year-old mother Beverly Kain, whom he strangled in her bedroom.

In handing down the sentence in the Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Michael Adams said Ms Kain was a loving, generous woman who had been the centre of her family's life.

"(Their) loss has been a terrible blow ... This is all the worse since she was killed at the hands of her own son, to whom she had been a loving generous mother."

The court heard that Kain, 48, and his mother had lived together in their Goulburn home for years.

While they had "spats", Justice Adams said there was no history of violence.

But in the weeks leading up to her death, neighbours recalled hearing more arguments.

Kain reported that his mother reminded him "every day" of her belief that smoking caused his father to die from oesophageal cancer more than a decade earlier.

Then, on the night of February 27, 2011 just, after killing his mother in her bedroom and then placing a pillow under her head, he called his sister Debra Stinson, telling her, "Mum's dead. I strangled her. She's dead."

Shortly after police arrived at the house, Kain began crying saying he had "just freaked out", adding, "I'm not a bad guy I just lost control".

He was originally charged with murdering Ms Kain but instead pleaded to manslaughter on the grounds of substantial impairment and and was found guilty.

Justice Adams said Kain suffered brain damage and dementia due to chronic alcohol abuse and had a long history of self-harm and depression.

The worst incident saw him shoot himself in the leg in 1991, after which he developed gangrene and needed to have it amputated.

Justice Adams said there was reasonable doubt that Kain - who had no history of violence against others - intended to kill his mother.

Rather, he found that Kain's mental state meant he did not appreciate the outcome of his actions.

He sentenced him to a maximum of six years and nine months.

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