Woman charged with killing husband joked with officers during arrest, court told

A woman who stabbed her husband three times in the kitchen of their family home joked that “you don’t get many murders” in her quiet Somerset village as she was arrested, a court has heard.

Jurors were shown arrest footage of 66-year-old Penelope Jackson on the third day of her trial at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday.

Her husband of 24 years, 78-year-old David Jackson, was bleeding to death wearing only his underpants when officers arrived at Parsonage Road in Berrow on February 13 this year.

Jackson can be heard telling them “I’ve got my ‘jamas on, I’ve got my ‘jamas on” as she was patted down and handcuffed.

She tells officers: “There’s no issue, I stabbed him, he’s an aggressive bully and nasty and I’ve had enough.”

Jackson adds: “When he says I wouldn’t do it, I did it twice more.”

The defendant can then be heard complaining that she is cold and asking for the heating to be put on in the police car, before an officer offers to go and get her coat.

She is then advised to be quiet and wait for legal advice, but replies: “No, no. I’ve no intention of not agreeing to what I’ve done.

“I know what I’ve done and I know why I’ve done it and if I haven’t done it properly I’ll be really annoyed.”

In another clip she can be heard exclaiming “oh good” when she is re-arrested for murder rather than attempted murder.

A sign for Bristol Crown Court (Ben Birchall/PA)
A sign for Bristol Crown Court (Ben Birchall/PA)

Once at the police station, she tells officers she has not been out “since before Christmas”, adding “I might just freeze to death”.

She then jokes “that would be really great, getting Covid on top of this” as they take her temperature as part of coronavirus precautions.

She adds: “I tell you what, you don’t get many murders in Berrow.”

Jackson admits manslaughter of the retired lieutenant colonel but denies murder, claiming her husband was coercive and controlling and also physically violent towards her.

But a number of friends and relatives have given evidence to say they never saw any sign that the couple were unhappy together.

Several described the defendant as the more outgoing of the two.

Julie Smith, an old friend of Jackson whom she had met when they both worked in accounts and administration at the Ministry of Defence, said she would often have one-to-one calls with her.

She told the court: “David was quiet, unassuming, sociable, a good man, Penelope was sociable and gregarious.

“They both had quite strong views so they were similar in that respect.”

Ms Smith continued: “They seemed to rub along quite well, just little disagreements like any married couple.”

She added that she had never seen any aggression between the pair, saying: “They seemed comfortable in each other’s company.”

Mrs Smith said the defendant and the victim had enjoyed travel, going on several cruises a year and often spending the winter months in Spain.

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