A woman threatened to chop off her husband’s penis before stabbing him to death following a row on Zoom – then wrote a confession as she waited for police to arrive, a court has heard.
Penelope Jackson, 66, knifed David – a retired lieutenant and her ‘violent’ husband of 24 years – in the kitchen of their bungalow in Berrow, Somerset, on February 13 this year.
Mr Jackson managed to call emergency services before losing consciousness, but the defendant took the phone from him and refused to follow the operator’s instructions to help him.
On the second day of Jackson’s murder trial at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday, 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.
Retired accountant Penelope Jackson, 65, pictured right, has been charged with murdering her husband David, left, at their Somerset home in February this year
Ms Taylor said: ‘He was very frightened. He honestly believed she was capable of carrying out that threat.’
She said that she believed her former husband ‘was afraid of Penelope’.
‘He was frightened she would destroy his army career and destroy his reputation and there’s no doubt in my mind she was capable of doing that,’ Ms Taylor added.
Mr Jackson’s daughter from his first marriage Jane Calverley said she had never seen the couple be violent towards one another, but said the defendant had liked making people feel uncomfortable.
‘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,’ she said.
‘When he was with the defendant he always seemed like he was on edge.’
Ms Calverley continued: ‘I always felt everything had to revolve around Jackson, she was a very larger than life character, she would enjoy making people uncomfortable.’
She said Jackson had ‘enjoyed finding people’s sore spots and poking them’.
‘It’s hard to describe how (Jackson and the victim) interacted. It never felt comfortable.’
Ms Calverley said alcohol had been a big part of her father and stepmother’s lives, but said she had never seen them argue.
‘I never saw them argue, (Jackson) would just bait (the victim) – it wouldn’t result in an argument necessarily,’ she said.
She also recalled staying with Jackson and her father when she was having trouble in her marriage.
Ms Calverley said Jackson told her: ‘It’s much easier if your husband kills himself.’
The jury heard that Jackson’s third husband had taken his own life a few days after he learned of her affair with the victim.
The couple are thought to have moved into their Somerset home eight years ago, and in December last year police were called to their address after a row about a remote control
The jury were earlier told how police found a confession written on a pad by the telephone when they arrived at the scene.
The note read: ‘To whom it may concern, I have taken so much abuse over the years – look at my records.’
It continued: ‘But he was a good Daddy. However the mask slipped tonight. That was unforgiveable.
‘I accept my punishment, may he rot in hell.’
Jackson had apologised for her spelling in the note, and added a comment in one corner that appeared to read ‘self-defence’.
During the 18-minute call to emergency services, and later to police, Jackson repeatedly acknowledged what she had done.
When she was arrested on suspicion of murder, she said: ‘It’s murder now, not attempted murder? Oh good.’
She then apologised for officers for ‘being a nuisance’.
Jackson was so forthcoming, officers advised her to be quiet and wait for legal advice.
She responded: ‘There’s nothing. I did it.
‘Why I did it is a different issue, but I did it.’
The defendant continued: ‘Remorse is easy, it’s been a long time coming – I did it, I’m guilty.
‘If I was given the chance, I’d do it again, even if they locked me up for 125 million years it would still be worth it.’
Jackson added: ‘I should have walked away years ago but you don’t, I deserve everything that is coming my way because you shouldn’t do what I did.
‘Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.’
Yesterday, the trial heard details of a chilling 999 call in which Jackson told operators she tried to stab her husband in the heart but ‘he doesn’t have one’.
It resumed today with prosecutors revealing Jackson’s delight when being told her actions at their home on February 13 this year, had led to his death.
Prosecuting, Christopher Quinlan QC said she was told the allegation had been upgraded to murder when she arrived at the police station.
He said she replied: ‘Oh murder, not attempted murder? Oh, good.’
The £300,000 cul-de-sac bungalow was home to the Jackson’s, who had been married for 24 years before wife Penelope stabbed her husband David to death
But the following day, Jackson refused to answer questions in a police interview and instead she put forward a prepared statement claiming the victim had been abusive and controlling towards her.
Jackson said the ‘extreme violence’ had started after the suicide of the victim’s son from his first marriage in 1998.
She 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, Jackson said, following a row over the food, and the call had ended.
She said she had gone to bed with a knife under her pillow for protection.
The statement said: ‘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 goaded her into stabbing him.
During the 999 call, Mr Jackson can apparently be heard screaming in pain as the defendant drives a knife into him a final time.
Jackson tells the call handler she stabbed him because ‘he thought I couldn’t go through with it’.
Jackson was detained by cops who noted several injuries on both arms and a small cut to her finger, and the following day she was interviewed under caution.
The trial heard she had refused to answer questions but provided a statement.
She referred to an incident in December 2020 when she called police and locked her husband in the conservatory to protect herself before he smashed his way out and assaulted her.
Officers were called to Berrow in Somerset at 9.15pm on February 13 this year after paramedics reported a male had been seriously injured
Referencing the following 999 call that was played in full to the jury earlier in the trial, she added: ‘I was told I made various comments to police but I was in complete shock and traumatised by what happened. I did not intend to kill him – I just wanted him to stop. I wanted David to know the years of abuse had to stop.’
Mr Quinlan told the jury that when police carried out a search of the scene they discovered what he described as a ‘confession note.’
The note read: ‘I have taken so much abuse the over the years.’
She wrote he had been a ‘good daddy’ while in Germany’ but added: ‘However, the mask slipped tonight.
She signed off the note by writing: ‘I accept my punishment, may he rot in hell.’
Mr Quinlan said it was clear the note had been written before the 999 call as police arrived during that period.
The defendant had worked in administration and accounts in the Royal Air Force and later the army, where she met the victim who had worked his way up from private to lieutenant colonel.
Before settling in Somerset, the couple had lived in Germany and France and their friends had described them as ‘happy together’.
One friend told police their relationship was ‘nothing out of the ordinary’, while another said: ‘They would occasionally disagree and argue and bicker, but it never lasted long’.
But in late December 2020, police were called to their address following a row over a TV remote control.
Jackson admits manslaughter but denies murder, claiming that she suffered years of physical abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour at the hands of the victim.
The trial, which is due to last three weeks, continues.
Source: Daily Mail UK