'Black Widow' guilty of poisoning second husband

By Shenai Raif,Pa News
Monday 15 December 2003 01:00

A woman dubbed the Black Widow was jailed for life today after being convicted of murdering her second husband with poisoned curry on his birthday.

Dena Thompson, 43, hid bitter-tasting antidepressants in Julian Webb's favourite meal and gave him drinks containing ground aspirin.

He died on his 31st birthday in June 1994 and was buried in a family plot in Hayling Island, Hants.

But the truth came to light seven years later when his body was exhumed after she was cleared of trying to kill her third husband, Richard Thompson.

She was found not guilty in 2000 of attempted murder after a jury at Lewes Crown Court heard she attacked Mr Thompson with a baseball bat and knife because she feared for her life during a bondage sex session.

She was jailed for three years and nine months for conning Mr Thompson and two former lovers out of £12,000.

Mr Webb's body was dug up the following year when police found a witness who said Thompson told him about the curry meal.

New tests showed a higher level of drugs in his body than had at first been thought.

A jury today found Thompson guilty by a 10-1 majority of murdering advertising executive Mr Webb at the home they shared in Yapton, West Sussex.

She showed no emotion as the jury returned its verdict after more than ten hours deliberating.

Thompson, of Larks Rise, Cullompton, Devon, denied killing him at the Old Bailey and claimed Mr Webb committed suicide.

The jury was not told about the Lewes court case during the trial.