Penelope Jackson: Woman who stabbed husband to death in kitchen after row jailed for life

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Penelope Jackson after she was arrested for the murder of her 78-year-old husband David at their home in Parsonage Road, Berrow, Somerset. (PA)
Penelope Jackson after she was arrested for the murder of her 78-year-old husband David at their home in Parsonage Road, Berrow, Somerset. (PA)

A woman who stabbed her husband to death at their home during winter lockdown has been jailed for life.

Penelope Jackson, 66, was found guilty of murder after she stabbed her husband of 24 years David, 78, in the kitchen of their home in Parsonage Road, in Berrow, Somerset, on 13 February this year.

During an 18-minute 999 call, Jackson told the operator her husband was “bleeding to death with any luck” and repeatedly refused to follow their instructions to try and help him.

It was Mr Jackson, a retired lieutenant colonel, who initially made the call, and at the beginning can be heard screaming in pain as the defendant apparently drove the knife into him for a third and final time.

Jackson denies murder but admits manslaughter, claiming she was the victim of years of violence and controlling behaviour at the hands of her husband.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Penelope Jackson (right) weeping in the dock at Bristol Crown Court where she admits manslaughter but denies murder of her husband David. The 66 year old knifed her husband of 24 years in the kitchen of their bungalow in Parsonage Road in Berrow, Somerset, on February 13 after they quarrelled during a family meal to celebrate her birthday. Picture date: Wednesday October 20, 2021.
Court artist sketch of Penelope Jackson, right, weeping in the dock at Bristol Crown Court during her trial. (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Friday’s verdict comes following a two-and-a-half week trial at Bristol Crown Court, where various witnesses described Jackson as “outgoing” and “gregarious”, with a temper that was quick to flare up, but soon passed.

Jackson’s defence team had stated at the end of the trial that “the action of stabbing her husband is suggested to be within the range of how a person of normal tolerance and self-restraint could act”.

Watch: Penelope Jackson 'said she could have stabbed husband more'

She told the jury that she "didn’t intend" to kill her husband, but said that he "just lost all control".

Jackson added: "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 couple’s daughter Isabelle Potterton said she had witnessed three instances of serious aggression by her father against her mother in the late 1990s soon after his son from his first marriage took his own life.

But she agreed that for the past 20 years they had seemed to have a close and loving relationship, with lots of shared interests including travel and gardening.

Mrs Potterton said her parents would bicker over small things, but their anger rarely lasted long.

Penelope Jackson claimed she was the the victim of years of violence and controlling behaviour at the hands of her husband. (SWNS)
Penelope Jackson claimed she was the the victim of years of violence and controlling behaviour at the hands of her husband. (SWNS)
David Jackson called emergency services himself after he had been stabbed. (SWNS)
David Jackson called emergency services himself after he had been stabbed. (SWNS)

In her evidence, Jackson claimed she had lived in fear of the victim throughout the marriage.

“It would always start out with him being verbally aggressive. It was always about me being disloyal and he would say, ‘you never loved me anyway’. He called me a ‘thing’ like I wasn’t a person,” she said.

She continued: “It would escalate, and he would shake me most of the time, he strangled me sometimes and I would go unconscious sometimes.

Penelope Jackson knifed husband David in the kitchen of their home on 13 February this year. (SWNS)
Penelope Jackson knifed husband David in the kitchen of their home on 13 February this year. (SWNS)

“Other times I would be semi-conscious, and I would be on the bed or the floor, and if he was really angry he would kick me.”

Mrs Potterton also told the trial that Mr Jackson was last violent towards her mother 20 years before his death.

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