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Wife, 66, stabbed ‘pain in the a**e’ husband, 78, to death and threatened to cut off his penis

A pensioner who stabbed her husband to death had described him as a ‘pain in the a**e’ when she previously called police officers to her home, a court has heard.

Penelope Jackson, 66, knifed her 78-year-old husband David three times in the kitchen of their bungalow in Parsonage Road in Berrow, Somerset, on February 13 this year.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court heard she had called police previously in December 2020.

It was just the day after he had an operation to have his pacemaker battery replaced, and she had locked him in the conservatory to calm him down after they had a row about how to use the remote control.  

Her husband of 24 years then picked up a poker and smashed the conservatory window before walking off. 

Penelope Jackson, 66, is on trial for the murder of her ex-colonel husband David Jackson, 78, both pictured, after stabbing him three times in their bungalow on February 13 this year

In her 999 call to police about this incident, she said: ‘I have just got bruises up my arms.

‘He grabbed me and threatened me. I don’t want to say anymore.

‘It’s not like him. He’s just mad. I can’t explain.’

In the 999 call she also said ‘it’s Christmas and it should not be happening’.

During the call, Jackson said her husband had at some point had the poker and told her ‘if you do not go away I will use it on you’.

Jackson went on to tell the operator ‘But he did not mean it’.

Sketch of Penelope Jackson at Bristol Crown Court, where she admits manslaughter but denies murder of her husband David

Sketch of Penelope Jackson at Bristol Crown Court, where she admits manslaughter but denies murder of her husband David

The jury heard that Jackson was upset when police arrived at her home and she said ‘he is going to be mortified and angry’ about what had happened.

An officer told her the incident would be recorded as an assault and the couple should not be under the same roof that night.

On whether the matter should be taken further, with her daughter sitting beside her, Jackson said: ‘Part of me wants to make him pay for it but that’s spite.

‘It’s either we get through it or we get divorced – at the moment, I do not know how we get back from it.’

She said his behaviour was not so controlling that he would stop her from seeing people, but added ‘but he is a pain in the a**e’.

Jackson said ‘he would say I’m a control freak’ and described the situation as ‘worrying but I have to deal with it now’.

She admits the manslaughter of the retired lieutenant colonel but denies murder, claiming her husband was coercive and controlling and also physically violent towards her.

Jackson said the attack on February 13 had been sparked by a row over a Zoom call.

The defendant said their daughter, Isabelle, had bought her and Mr Jackson a gourmet meal for her birthday and that they and their daughter and son-in-law had eaten it over Zoom together.

But the evening had turned sour following a row over the food and the call had ended and she had gone to bed with a knife under her pillow for protection.

On the second day of Jackson’s murder trial at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday last week, the jury heard that the 78-year-old victim had been Jackson’s fourth husband, and she his third wife.

Sheila Taylor, Mr Jackson’s second wife, told the court her marriage to the victim had ended when he began an affair with the defendant in 1993.

Ms Taylor told the court she had learned of the affair when Jackson rang their home and demanded to speak to her husband.

She said he had been ‘white and shaking’ when he came off the call, adding: ‘He told me he had been having an affair with a woman called Penny but the relationship was now over.

‘(Jackson) didn’t want the relationship to be over and she was insisting he tell me about it and go and live with her.’

Ms Taylor said after her divorce from the victim had been finalised, he had told her Jackson had threatened to ‘do a Bobbit on him’ if he ever tried to leave her.

The alleged threat was a reference to a high profile case in the US at around the same time where a wife had cut off her husband’s penis

The statement read: ‘When I woke up I felt I couldn’t do this anymore and I intended to take my own life and I planned to slit my wrists.

‘I told David I had had enough and was going to kill myself and he said ‘get on with it then’ – I then thought ‘why should it be me? It’s you’.’

Jackson claimed the victim had laid down on the spare bed and provoked her into stabbing him, when she then threatened to cut off his penis

Mr Jackson can apparently be heard screaming in pain during the 999 call, which he managed to get through to before losing consciousness, as the defendant drove a knife into him a final time.

Jackson tells the call operator she stabbed him because ‘he thought I couldn’t go through with it’.

Police found a confession written on a pad by defendant Jackson, when they arrived at the scene, which read: 'To whom it may concern, I have taken so much abuse over the years - look at my records. But he was a good Daddy. However the mask slipped tonight. That was unforgiveable. I accept my punishment, may he rot in hell.'

Police found a confession written on a pad by defendant Jackson, when they arrived at the scene, which read: ‘To whom it may concern, I have taken so much abuse over the years – look at my records. But he was a good Daddy. However the mask slipped tonight. That was unforgiveable. I accept my punishment, may he rot in hell.’

She was detained by police who noted several injuries on both her arms and a small cut to her finger.

The following day she was questions but the trial heard she had refused to answer them, instead providing a statement.

She referred to the pacemaker incident in December 2020 when she called police after locking her husband in the conservatory to ‘protect herself’ before he smashed his way out and assaulted her.

Jackson described herself as a ‘pragmatist’ and felt the situation was one where she would have to ‘get over it or he walks … nobody can make that decision but me’.

The row had come out of the blue and Jackson told officers it may have had something to do with his operation for the pacemaker battery replacement, the court heard.

The jury heard that a police violence abuse questionnaire which was filled out by an officer who attended the scene said that Jackson had not felt isolated, depressed or stalked.

When the officer telephoned her a few days later, Jackson said she and her husband had sorted out their problem and he had turned the voltage on his pacemaker battery down after a call had been put in to the hospital.

He was back to his normal self and had no recollection of what had happened.

Clare Wade QC, defending, said Jackson was ‘wringing her hands and her voice was wavering at times’ when she spoke to the police at her home.

The court heard that the victim, pictured, was Jackson's fourth husband and she was his third wife, and that they had married in 1996. The pair share a daughter together

The court heard that the victim, pictured, was Jackson’s fourth husband and she was his third wife, and that they had married in 1996. The pair share a daughter together

At one point she pulled up the sleeve of her nightgown to show that a small round bruise was developing on her forearm, before covering it up again.

When police arrived, Mr Jackson was in another room in the house with his son-in-law and was told by an officer that he should spend the night with his daughter in Bristol.

He had insisted he did not mind being arrested.

Earlier in the trial, Mr Jackson’s daughter from his first marriage, Jane Caverley, said the defendant ‘found baiting people fun’.

She said she had never seen the couple become violent towards one another, but noted that the defendant had liked making people feel uncomfortable, and ‘enjoyed finding people’s sore spots and poking them’.

The £300,000 cul-de-sac bungalow was home to the Jacksons, who had been married for 24 years before wife Penelope stabbed her husband David to death

The £300,000 cul-de-sac bungalow was home to the Jacksons, who had been married for 24 years before wife Penelope stabbed her husband David to death

She said: ‘It always felt as if he was on edge, my father was very particular, he didn’t like to be shown up, when we were children we were always told to behave properly because he didn’t like to be the centre of attention.

‘When he was with the defendant he always seemed like he was on edge.’ 

‘I always felt everything had to revolve around Jackson, she was a very larger than life character, she would enjoy making people uncomfortable.

‘It’s hard to describe how (Jackson and the victim) interacted. It never felt comfortable. 

‘I never saw them argue, (Jackson) would just bait (the victim) – it wouldn’t result in an argument necessarily,’ 

Officers were called to Berrow in Somerset at 9.15pm on February 13 this year after paramedics reported a male had been seriously injured

Officers were called to Berrow in Somerset at 9.15pm on February 13 this year after paramedics reported a male had been seriously injured

Earlier in the trial, the jury were told how police found a confession written on a pad when they arrived at the scene, which read: ‘To whom it may concern, I have taken so much abuse over the years – look at my records.’

‘But he was a good Daddy. However the mask slipped tonight. That was unforgiveable.

‘I accept my punishment, may he rot in hell.’

Mr Jackson was pronounced dead in the kitchen of the marital home in Berrow, near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on the night of February 13.

Jackson denies murder but has admitted manslaughter. The trial continues.


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