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Wife cleared of stab murder charge

A woman who stabbed her husband to death in their luxury penthouse apartment after rowing over their troubled buy-to-let empire has been found not guilty of murder.

Jennifer Parkinson wept as the jury at Winchester Crown Court unanimously cleared her after five hours of deliberations.

The 65-year-old stabbed retired headteacher Michael Parkinson, 63, at the £330,000 flat in Sanderling Lodge, Rope Quays, Gosport, Hampshire, on March 22 last year.

She had admitted manslaughter on the basis of no intent at the start of her trial, but denied the murder charge.

The seven-day trial heard that the couple had a drunken row, which started with Mr Parkinson blaming his wife for getting into buying around 20 properties in Rutland which lost them money - something Parkinson said upset her as it went back on a promise not to blame each other.

The pair had been losing £4,000 a month through the properties due to rising interest rates and flooding, and they were forced to live in a motor-home for a time. But in recent months, the financial situation improved and the couple made a £2,000-a-month profit.

Mr Parkinson suffered three stab wounds during the attack, with the most severe entering his body below his left arm, fracturing a rib, puncturing his lung and damaging his aorta, causing "catastrophic" blood loss from which he died in hospital.

Giving evidence to the jury, Parkinson said she never meant to hurt her husband and had brandished the knife at him to try to "stop him in his tracks".

"We loved each other. I was proud of being his wife of 20 years. There was no way I wanted him seriously injured or dead. I will miss him for the rest of my life," she said.

Judge Guy Boney QC remanded Parkinson in custody and adjourned the case until a sentencing hearing on May 4.