‘May he rot in hell’: Wife who knifed ‘abusive’ husband wrote confession as she waited for police, court told

Court hears how defendant refused to follow emergency instructions to save husband after stabbing

Conrad Duncan
Wednesday 13 October 2021 09:10
Wife who knifed ‘abusive’ husband wrote confession as she waited for police
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A woman who stabbed her husband three times following a row over a Zoom call wrote a confession as she waited for police to arrive at the scene of the attack, a court has heard.

Penelope Jackson is accused of killing her husband of 24 years, David, in the kitchen of their bungalow in Berrow, Somerset, on 13 February this year.

The court heard how the 78-year-old man managed to call emergency services before losing consciousness, but the defendant refused to follow the operator’s instructions to help him as he died.

On the second day of the 66-year-old’s trial for murder at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday, the jury were told that police officers found a confession note written on a pad by the telephone when they arrived at the scene.

“To whom it may concern, I have taken so much abuse over the years – look at my records,” the note read.

“But he was a good daddy. However the mask slipped tonight. That was unforgiveable [sic].

“I accept my punishment, may he rot in hell.”

The woman repeatedly acknowledged what she had done during an 18-minute call to emergency services and in later conversations with police.

Officers even said that Jackson was so forthcoming over the incident that they advised her to stop speaking and wait for legal advice.

She responded that there was “nothing” to wait for, adding: “Why I did it is a different issue, but I did it.”

However, when interviewed on the day after the incident, Jackson refused to answer questions from police and put forward a prepared statement arguing that her husband had been abusive and controlling towards her.

She said that the “extreme violence” had started in 1998 after the suicide of David Jackson’s son from his first marriage.

In the statement, the defendant also said that the stabbing had been sparked by a row after their daughter had bought her and David a gourmet meal for her birthday, which the husband then ate with their daughter and son-in-law over Zoom without her.

Following a row over the food, the call ended and Jackson went to bed with a knife under her pillow for protection, she said.

The statement continued by saying that when she woke up she felt that she “couldn’t do this anymore” and planned to kill herself.

“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’,” she said, adding that the husband allegedly goaded her into stabbing him.

The court was told that David could apparently be heard screaming in pain during the 999 call as the defendant attacked him again, with the 66-year-old also telling the call handler that she stabbed him because “he thought I couldn't go through with it”.

The trial also heard that, when she was arrested, Jackson was found with bruises on her arms that doctors concluded could have been inflicted on the night of the killing.

Jackson has admitted to manslaughter but has denied murder.

The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, continues.

Additional reporting by PA