Penelope Jackson: Wife stabbed husband to death ‘in row over bubble and squeak’

Pensioner admits manslaughter but denies murder of 78-year-old David Jackson

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 20 October 2021 18:23
<p>Penelope Jackson is standing trial accused of the murder of David Jackson at their home in Somerset</p>

Penelope Jackson is standing trial accused of the murder of David Jackson at their home in Somerset

A woman stabbed her husband to death after a row over serving bubble and squeak with a steak for her birthday, a court has heard.

Penelope Jackson stabbed 78-year-old David Jackson three times with a kitchen knife hours after they fought during a family meal to celebrate her birthday.

Jackson, 66, told Bristol Crown Court her husband got angry because she had prepared the vegetable dish - made of potato and cabbage - to eat alongside the expensive meal purchased by their daughter to celebrate her birthday.

“I was just horrified - it was the eyes again - they turned on a sixpence,” she told the jury.

“I was absolutely horrified that he was being so nasty. The conversation, which had been loud and chatty, just died.

“I said don’t do this again and started to cry and I went to the side and I was crying quietly.

“I was just inside, in bits - my whole birthday being ruined - all over bubble and squeak.”

She added: “This was the final straw because in December I had mentally said I wasn’t going to put up with it.

Court artist sketch shows Penelope Jackson (right) weeping in the dock at Bristol Crown Court

“He had the contempt for me and he had been so rude and obnoxious in front of our daughter. It wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was in the bundle.

“I cried and cried and cried, I was so upset about the whole of the last year of my marriage. As far as I was concerned my marriage had just imploded.

“It wasn’t earth shattering but belittling me over bubble and squeak.”

After the argument, Jackson said she had taken a kitchen knife to her bedroom intending to use it to take her own life but instead walked into her husband’s bedroom to speak to him.

“I wanted him to say, ‘I am sorry, Pen’. He didn’t, he just said, ‘For God’s sake you are pathetic, get on with it and go back to bed’,” she said.

“It was just like, ‘Pass the sugar’. I was in utter despair. I looked at him and said, ‘I have done nothing wrong, admit you are sorry’. He said, ‘For God’s sake shut up’. He literally couldn’t be bothered – it was utter contempt.”

Jackson admits manslaughter of the retired lieutenant colonel but denies murder, claiming he was coercive and controlling and also physically violent towards her during their 24-year marriage.

Gesticulating to the jury with her hand to show how she stabbed her husband on the evening of 13 February this year, Jackson said: “He said, ‘come on then’. It was like I just lost it and I didn’t know why I did it. I have not been violent in my life, I never even smacked children.”

Fighting back tears, she said: “He just looked at me as if he was so shocked. I was absolutely horrified.”

The court heard Jackson then left the bedroom and took the knife to the kitchen where she wrote a note confessing to stabbing her husband.

Mr Jackson went into the lounge of their bungalow in Berrow, Somerset, to get the phone to ring the police and then walked into the kitchen, telling his wife: “See how it feels to have the police phoned on you.”

She told the jury: “He was dialling as he walked. He said, ‘couldn’t even do that right, you’re pathetic.”

Jackson said her husband put his face right into hers as he spoke to the 999 call handler.

“It was almost a look of delight. He was goading and horrible and said I was pathetic and couldn’t do it right,” she said.

“I was there, and I just thought I wasn’t angry, I couldn’t cope anymore.”

Again, showing the jury how she stabbed her husband, Jackson said: “I stabbed him again and he said, ‘she’s done it again’.”

Clare Wade QC, defending, asked the defendant: “When you stabbed him, did you intend to kill him?”

Jackson replied: “I didn’t intend to kill him. I just lost all control - I just wasn’t even there. My mind... I wasn’t angry I had just had enough and lost the plot. I just lost control - I couldn’t take anymore.”

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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