A woman who stabbed her husband of 24 years snatched the phone from his hand as he tried to call for help and told the operator ‘I thought I’d got his heart, but he hasn’t got one’, a court has heard.
Penelope Jackson, 66, knifed husband David, 78, in the kitchen of their home in Parsonage Road, in Berrow, Somerset, on February 13 this year. He managed to phone the emergency services to say he had been stabbed and can be heard screaming in pain as Jackson allegedly drove the blade into him for the final time.
Bristol Crown Court heard Jackson herself then took hold of the phone and calmly told the operator: ‘I’ve killed my husband, or tried to, because I’ve had enough.’
When asked where he was, she replied: ‘He’s in the kitchen bleeding to death with any luck.’
On the first day of her murder trial, jurors were told Jackson repeatedly refused to help her husband when directed to take steps such as apply pressure to the wound or throw him a towel to try and stem the bleeding.
Prosecutor Christopher Quinlan QC said: ‘(Jackson) was calm and resolute and perhaps in places resigned and, in her words, not mine, “compos mentis”.’
In an 18-minute phone call while police and paramedics headed for the scene, she said: ‘I thought I’d got his heart, but he hasn’t got one, then twice in the abdomen.’
She added: ‘His abdomen is buggered.’
Mr Quinlan said: ‘(Jackson) will accept (Mr Jackson’s) unlawful killing or his manslaughter but she denies her guilt properly answers his murder.’
In the call, which was played in full to the jury, Jackson can be heard calmly telling the operator her husband is ‘moaning on the kitchen floor’, adding ‘he’s got some holes in him’.
When she is asked to pass him a clean dry cloth, she replies: ‘I’m not helping him, the paramedics can help him but I’m not.’
Jackson tells the call handler she stabbed him because ‘he thought I couldn’t go through with it’, adding: ‘He’s a total s***.’
She then says, ‘he deserves everything he gets’ and adds: ‘I’ll accept everything that’s coming my way.
‘I’ll end up in prison, which is preferable to my life right now.’
When the call handler asks her to ‘try and stop the bleeding because we don’t want him to die’, she replies: ‘I do.’
Following her arrest, as she was being led to the police car, she told officers: ‘I know what I’ve done and, if I’ve not done it properly, I’ll be really annoyed.’
The court heard that the victim was Jackson’s fourth husband, and she was his third wife, and that they had married in 1996.
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, 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.
The defendant told officers she had locked her husband in their conservatory so he would ‘calm down’ but that he had smashed his way out with the poker from their wood burning stove.
She claimed he had been acting out of character following an operation to replace the battery in a deep brain implant used to manage a condition that caused his hands and limbs to tremble.
Mr Quinlan told the jury they would hear about the difficulties in the Jacksons’ relationship, but added: ‘There is a difference, though, between a relationship with some occasional difficulties and one that is abusive, coercive, and controlling.
‘I use these words because these are the words Penelope Jackson used to describe her relationship with David Jackson – he was abusive, she said, he was controlling, and he coerced her.’
The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, continues.
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