A "manipulative" mother has been jailed for 30 years for strangling her eight-year-old son to death, after he walked in on her having sex with his grandfather.

Veronica Panarello strangled her son Loris Stival with electrical cables, and threw his body into a ditch near the family home after he found out about the affair.

In an attempt to cover up the killing, the 28-year-old initially reported her son missing in November 2014 in south-east Sicily, claiming he had been abducted after he failed to return home from school.

However, CCTV footage showed him leaving school with his mother. The child's battered body was later found in a canal by a hunter, in the small town of Santa Croce Camerina.

The mother then changed her story, saying he died while playing with electrical cables in an "accident", the Local reported.

In her defence, Panarello admitted she had an affair with her husband's father, Andrea Stival, but blamed him for the murder. She claimed he killed the boy to stop him telling anyone about the illicit relationship.

An Italian court heard that the murder had been premeditated, citing the "cruelty" inflicted on the boy who had suffered a wound to the head and scratch marks across the skin during a violent altercation.

Panarello was found guilty of her son's murder and of concealing a body, and was sentenced on 17 October. She also faces charges of slander against her father-in-law, The Independent reports.

Describing the mother as an "egocentric, manipulative liar" prosecutor Marco Rota said: "There is no 'satisfaction' with the sentence, but the knowledge of having done our duty".

Panarello, whose husband has filed for divorce, had maintained her innocence throughout the trial. Her lawyer said she intends to appeal the verdict.