'It was that face' - Penelope Jackson on why she stabbed husband three times

West Country paid for Penelope Jackson image from SWNS. David Jackson image sent out by Avon Som Police
Penelope Jackson (left) and her husband David (right). Credit: SWNS

A woman accused of murdering her husband after a row over bubble and squeak attacked him when he posed no threat to her, a court has heard.

Penelope Jackson, 66, stabbed David Jackson, 78, three times with a kitchen knife hours after they quarrelled during a luxurious family meal to celebrate her birthday.

Mr Jackson, a retired lieutenant colonel, was first slashed across the chest by his wife in a bedroom of the home they shared in Berrow, Somerset, on the night of 13 February this year.

He was then stabbed twice more in the kitchen while on the phone to the emergency services, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Jackson admits killing her husband, saying she lost control when he called her “pathetic” in the bedroom and later taunted her in the kitchen.

In cross-examination, Christopher Quinlan QC, prosecuting, suggested to the defendant she had “deliberately lunged” at Mr Jackson’s chest with the knife in the bedroom and he was of no threat to her when she attacked him a second time.

She replied: “I saw blood, I left immediately, I was horrified.

“I didn’t intend anything. I had lost the plot, I had reacted. I knew I stabbed him – it was the blood – I was horrified, I left. There was not an intent.”

Referring to the 999 call, in which Mr Jackson could be heard summoning help, Mr Quinlan said: “He was not threatening to you when you stabbed him again?”

Listen to the 999 call from the Jackson house above.

Jackson replied: “It was that face.”

Mr Quinlan said: “He was calling for help. You did it twice when he was calling for help, Mrs Jackson. No threat to you. Was he? Was he?”

Jackson replied: “He was in my… taunting me… I never thought… I lost it.”

Breaking down in tears, she added: “I didn’t know what I thought, I wasn’t thinking. He was always a threat when he had that face on. You can’t see him looking at you like that.

“I told the truth, I keep telling the truth.”

Mr Quinlan said that in her defence case statement there was no mention of Mr Jackson being “face to face” with her in the kitchen.

'I was absolutely horrified'

“Lost control in the bedroom, regained control, lost control again in the kitchen?,” he asked.

She replied: “It’s not a regaining or losing. I was absolutely horrified, the whole thing.

“The next bit… I must, that was the end of it and then it got worse, and he came back and I lost control so badly… I don’t remember.”

Mr Quinlan asked: “Had you written (the note) before you went into the bedroom?”

The defendant replied: “No, because I never left the bedroom after clearing up. I lay on the bed, don’t know for how long for, to kill myself because I can’t see a way out.”

Mr Quinlan asked: “The only two opportunities were either before you went into the bedroom or it was a five to 10 minute gap between the two incidents."

The defendant has told the jury her husband was coercive and controlling and also physically violent towards her – pushing, shoving and strangling her.

She explained Mr Jackson valued loyalty and she would have felt disloyal if she disclosed to anyone the abuse she had suffered at his hands.

The court heard she had called the police in December last year when he smashed a glass door with a poker during a row over the TV remote control.

“I covered up for my husband for years,” she said.

“This was my first tentative steps, to stop the cycle of anger and violence done to me.

Penelope Jackson in the dock at Bristol Crown Court Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

“It was not every minute of every day or every week – the violence was sporadic, the nastiness, being called ‘a thing’, even using the TV remote, I couldn’t do nothing.

“I was tentatively trying to take back control, not immediately but bit by bit – I had lost all control. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything.”

She added: “David could be charming and loving and always so caring after a particularly violent event.

“Yes, I could have left, why I didn’t I have asked myself a million times.”

Mr Quinlan suggested Mr Jackson was not controlling, as his wife went regularly to the gym and would go shopping with friends.

She replied: “Not all the time, if he didn’t want me to do it, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have the guts and was too cowardly to address it head on.

“It’s a bit like MeToo and it takes other people to step up and for you to say that happened to me.”

Jackson denies murder. The trial continues.