Wealthy retired accountant is found guilty of murder

Wealthy retired accountant is found guilty of murder after knifing to death her husband, 78, on her 66th birthday and telling police ‘I should have stabbed him more’ as he lay dying

  • Penelope Jackson was arrested in her M&S pyjamas outside home and calmly told police she killed husband
  • She told jury ‘final straw’ after 24 years of controlling behaviour was a row they had over bubble and squeak
  • Judge had told jury that Penny’s defence rested on the issues of a lack of intent to kill and loss of self-control 

A wealthy retired accountant was today found guilty of murder after stabbing her retired colonel husband to death on her 66th birthday and telling police ‘I should have stabbed him more’ as he lay dying.

Penelope Jackson was arrested in her Marks & Spencer pyjamas outside their £450,000 luxury bungalow while calmly telling police her husband David, 78, was lying bleeding on the kitchen floor.

She told a jury the ‘final straw’ after 24 years of controlling behaviour was a row they had over a birthday side dish of bubble and squeak. 

Penny – who pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder – insisted David been violent and controlling throughout their marriage and that the situation worsened during lockdown because she ‘couldn’t escape’ him.

She claimed she didn’t remember the 18-minute 999 call during which she told the operator he was ‘in the kitchen bleeding to death with any luck’, and told jurors she hadn’t intended to kill him but had ‘had enough and lost the plot’ after being worn down by his abuse. 

Explaining to the jury of eight women and four men their route to a verdict, Judge Martin Picton said that Penny’s defence rested on the issues of a lack of intent to kill and loss of self-control. 

He told them to consider whether a person in similar circumstances possessed of ‘a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint’ would have acted in the same way. 

Penelope Jackson was arrested in her Marks & Spencer pyjamas outside their bungalow calmly telling police her husband David, 78, was lying bleeding on the kitchen floor 

Penny admitted killing her husband saying she lost control when he called her ‘pathetic’ in the bedroom and later taunted her in the kitchen

Chilling footage viewed by jurors earlier in the trial showed Penny being arrested while refusing to help her husband as he lay dying in the kitchen floor. 

In a polite and understated manner, she talked police through what had happened after they arrived at their home in Berrow, Somerset.

She issued a series of horrifying remarks, including ‘If there’s any luck you’ll be too late’, ‘I should have stabbed him a bit more’ and ‘I might go and stab him again’.

But despite the horror of what had just happened, Penny appeared to be more concerned with retrieving her coat and slippers from her house, which she repeatedly asked officers for.

The defendant told Bristol Crown Court she stabbed him after becoming ‘petrified’ by violence she was subjected to throughout their marriage.

She claimed she ‘walked on eggshells’ and ‘lived with a knot in my stomach’ and told the jury: ‘I didn’t know if I was waking up to nice David or nasty David.’ 

Over the course of a two-and-a-half week trial at Bristol Crown Court, various witnesses described Penny as ‘outgoing’ and ‘gregarious’ with a temper that was quick to flare up, but soon passed. 

Penny – who pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder – insisted David been violent and controlling throughout their marriage and that the situation worsened during lockdown because she ‘couldn’t escape’ him (she is seen in a court sketch) 

The couple’s daughter Isabelle Potterton (left) 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

Explaining to the jury their route to a verdict, Judge Martin Picton said: ‘It is contended that the reaction of the defendant, stabbing her husband as he was calling for help at a point when he was already bleeding from a serious albeit not fatal wound, is not how someone with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint would react.’

‘The defence, however, argue that you cannot be sure that such is the case.’

He added that given the years of domestic abuse alleged by the defendant, Penny’s defence team state: ‘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 (and) that you cannot be sure that such a person would not.’

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.

Explaining to the jury their route to a verdict, Judge Martin Picton said that Penny’s defence rested on the issues of a lack of intent to kill and loss of self-control 

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

In her evidence, Penny 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.

‘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.’

Black widow who murdered her fourth husband by stabbing him to death may have ‘coerced’ the third man she married into gassing himself in the garage of family home after she started affair, his brother claims

By Tom Bedford for MailOnline

A black widow may have coerced her third husband into gassing himself in the garage of their family home, his brother claims.

Stewart Warrender said Penny Jackson made his brother Alan’s life a misery before he uncovered her affair with retired army officer husband David Jackson in 1993 and took his own life.

She was today found guilty of murdering Mr Jackson, husband number four, who she stabbed to death at their home in February.

During the trial at Bristol Crown Court, Penny admitted that she had ‘driven’ her previous husband to suicide by cheating on him.

Alan Warrender quit the RAF to take a job in Saudi Arabia to pay off debts he built up.

He returned to their home in Grantham, Lincolnshire, to find the wife he was devoted to had started an affair with David Jackson and had his two healthy Rottweiler dogs put down while he was away.

The murder trial heard Alan discovered the pair together after days returning from the Middle East in April 1993. The two men started brawling over Penny. A few days later 43-year-old Alan was dead. 

To the outside world the Jacksons seemed like a successful and content retired couple with so much money tucked away they went on several cruises a year and had a holiday home in France 

Mr Warrender believes rather than just finding his brother unconscious in his car after he had gassed himself following a row, as she claimed to the jury, she may have actually persuaded him to do it.

He said that she was ‘strangely upbeat’ during his brother’s funeral and had been a controlling presence throughout their relationship, which started less than a year after the death of Alan’s first wife Beverley.

He even told how he believes Penny to have persuaded Alan to put the adopted son ‘he had always wanted’ back into care just after they had met.

Mr Warrender – who stepped in as best man at Penny and Alan’s wedding after the former one withdrew because he didn’t approve of his friend’s fiancée – said he had always ‘had suspicions’ about Alan’s suicide. 

He told MailOnline: ‘He took his life not long after finding out about her and David. As you can imagine he was distraught, it tore him to pieces inside.

‘But I never had any concerns over my brother’s rationality, even when he went through it after his first wife Bev died of cancer.

‘He could’ve lived a half decent life without Penny, who clearly didn’t love him anymore.

‘Did Penny really find him unconscious in his car after an argument or was she there when he gassed himself? Did she coerce him into doing it? I’ve always thought that was a possibility.’ 

Mr Warrender said his suspicions were first aroused when she did not appear to be overly upset at his brother’s funeral and have been reinforced following recent revelations that Pennymurdered David after taking a knife to bed with the original intention to kill herself until she went for him.

Penelope Jackson was arrested in her Marks & Spencer pyjamas outside their bungalow calmly telling police her husband David, 78, was lying bleeding on the kitchen floor 

He said: ‘There was something definitely off about her behaviour during Alan’s funeral.

‘I know people grieve in different ways but she seemed strangely upbeat for someone whose husband had just committed suicide.

‘It wasn’t the case that Alan had been ill for some time and his death was expected. It was sudden and a shock but she didn’t appear to be too upset. There was a distinct lack of empathy with her that day.

‘It’s why I’ve always had the niggling thought in my head about the way Alan died.

‘And then to read how she took a knife to bed and killed David Jackson, having originally planned to end her own life, it kind of almost confirmed my fears.’

The inquest report from the Grantham Journal was headlined: ‘Man took his life after marital stress’.

It explained that the aviation specialist had recently returned home from a four-month contract in Saudi Arabia when his body was found in the fume-filled Ford Granada.

In her evidence, Penny told the court that her husband had come home to find domestic problems and she had told him their marriage was over.

The coroner ruled Mr Warrender had taken his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed. 


The Jacksons regularly enjoyed holidays abroad, and are pictured here during two of their getaways 

A former neighbour, who recalled the case, said: ‘It was said he had a lot of alcohol in his system and everyone was surprised that he had managed to reverse the car into the little garage.

‘He had been abroad working and the rumour was that his wife had started seeing someone from the Prince William of Gloucester barracks.

‘I remember he had two Rottweiler dogs which were his pride and joy but his wife had them put to sleep when he was away on one of these lengthy trips to the Middle East.’

Alan married first wife Beverley Alan in 1971 and the couple had two daughters, Samantha and Katherine.

While she was being treated for cancer, the pair made the decision to adopt a nine-year-old boy, the son Alan had always wanted. 

Beverley died in 1987 and Alan met Penny soon afterwards with the couple marrying the following year in South Wales where he was stationed as a chief technical officer with the RAF.

Early in the relationship, the boywas placed back into care, a decision Mr Warrender believes was made by Penny.

The couple later moved to Grantham after Alan had been transferred to RAF Stanton Morley in Norfolk. They had a daughter, Isabelle. 

The Jacksons had a holiday home in France and over-wintered in Spain to escape the cold weather  

Mr Warrander added: ‘I always had the impression that whatever Penny wanted, Penny got. She pulled the strings, it seemed to me, as an alpha-female.

‘Alan’s best friend, Brendan, who was quite a religious man and certainly someone with high morals, refused to be his best man at their wedding. Penny was a huge factor in that decision.

‘In Beverley, Alan had also met his soulmate and she was everything that Penny wasn’t, she was compassionate, she was a wife, a mother and had that caring nurturing side to her.

‘Before she passed away, Alan and Bev adopted a nine-year-old boy. Although blessed with two wonderful daughters at the time, my brother always wanted a son.

‘He had a tough start to life and I think he could be a challenge but he was a really nice lad. ‘He went out with me for the afternoon in my truck and loved it. You really get to know someone when you’re cooped up with them in a cab for hours on end.

‘But after Bev died and not long after meeting Penny, he put the boy back into care. I asked Alan about it and I could see it was a very tough and uncomfortable conversation.

‘He didn’t really want to answer the question and inferred that it wasn’t his decision. I didn’t press him too much.

‘I always thought that while Penny was bubbly, confident and very sociable she was quite empty inside. She was soulless and very narcissistic.’

David Jackson, whose wife Penny admitted manslaughter but denied the murder of her husband. Issue date: Monday October 18, 2021

Penny told the trial that she was determined to make her relationship and marriage to David work because it would ‘validate Alan’s death’. She admitted to the court that Alan would not have killed himself if she had not cheated on him. 

Like Alan, David had been in a solid and loving 10-year marriage before being lured away by home wrecker Penny.

After leaving his wife Sheila Taylor he later confided in her that he was scared of her, didn’t trust her and feared she would ruin his career.

Not just that, the jury was shocked to hear she had threatened to ‘do a Bobbit’ on him – a euphemism for cutting off his penis.

It referred to a notorious case in the United States when a woman sliced off her sleeping husband’s manhood.

Mrs Taylor told the trial: ‘He was very frightened and he believed she was capable of carrying out that threat.’

She told the court Penny loved to make her fourth husband squirm with embarrassment and had a reputation for baiting people and making them feel uncomfortable.

When her teenage grandson came to stay she would sit naked brushing her hair with the bedroom door open, the court heard. 

It was Jackson’s third marriage – the first, at the age of 17, was to Melvyn Porter whose family say he has ‘no happy memories’ of their time together.

They had two children together, Rebecca and Victoria. Jackson later donated one of her kidneys to Rebecca but the murder trial heard they are now estranged and haven’t spoken to each other in years.

The home of Penny and David Jackson in Berrow, Somerset, as seen on February 13 with officers outside

Penny left Mr Porter to look after their two children after falling for RAF airman Anthony Rothwell. 

They were married for 10 years but she described their relationship as a ‘loving friendship’ but told the court he ‘preferred relationships with chaps’. 

Her next two husbands, both in the services, were Alan Warrender and David Jackson.

To the outside world the Jacksons seemed like a successful and content retired couple with so much money tucked away they went on several cruises a year and had a holiday home in Bergerac, South West France.

After they sold the property, the pair wintered in Spain because they ‘hated the cold weather’.

Outgoing and vivacious, Penny loved going to the gym, splashing out on shopping trips and gardening at their £450,000 luxury bungalow in the village of Berrow, Somerset.

But David had no hobbies or interests and, after beating prostate and bowel cancer, spent his days at home waiting for Penny to return from her many outings.

Penny told the murder trial ‘he loved me and I loved him’ but she tried to convince the jury the marriage wasn’t happy because of her husband’s abuse and violence.

The mother-of-three claimed she’d ‘had enough’ and hid an eight-inch filleting knife under her pillow with the intention of killing herself on the night of February 13 – her 66th birthday.

Instead she stabbed her husband in the abdomen and, as he desperately begged an emergency operator for help, she knifed him again.

Stewart Warrender said Penny (pictured) made his brother Alan’s life a misery before he uncovered her affair with David Jackson in 1993 and took his life

People in the courtroom shuddered at his screams were heard during 999 call while Penny calmly said: ‘I should have stabbed him a bit more’. 

Penny was arrested in her Marks & Spencer pyjamas and continued confessing to police that she had killed her husband. 

At the top of her confession note found at the scene Penny scrubbed the words: ‘Self-defence or pre-meditated.’

The first stabbing in the bedroom of the couple’s smart bungalow could have been an instinctive reaction.

But the jury repeatedly heard a recording of the second stabbing in the kitchen – it was deliberate and cold-blooded. It was murder.

Wealthy retired accountant Penny had the words ‘Property of David John Jackson’ tattooed on her right buttock to tease and provoke her husband.

She even stifled a little giggle in the witness box when she referred to the tattoo which her husband of 24 years hated.

As she starts her life sentence for murder, she will have her victim’s name inked on her body for the rest of her days. 

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