Birthday meal row ‘last straw’, claims murder accused wife

A woman stabbed her husband to death following a row over serving bubble and squeak with a steak for her birthday, a court heard.

enelope Jackson (66) stabbed David Jackson (78) three times with a kitchen knife hours after they quarrelled during a family meal to celebrate her birthday.

Ms Jackson told the court her husband got angry because she had prepared a side dish of bubble and squeak (a dish made from cooked potatoes and cabbage) to eat alongside the expensive meal bought by their daughter to celebrate her birthday.

“I was absolutely horrified that he was being so nasty. The conversation which had been loud and chatty just died,” Ms Jackson told the jury.

“I said don’t do this again and started to cry and I went to the side and I was crying quietly.

“I was just inside, in bits – my whole birthday being ruined – all over bubble and squeak.

“This was the final straw because in December I had mentally said I wasn’t going to put up with it.

“He had contempt for me and he had been rude and obnoxious in front of our daughter. It wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back but in was in the bundle.

It wasn’t earth shattering but belittling me over bubble and squeak.”

After the argument, Jackson said she had taken a kitchen knife to her bedroom, intending to use it to take her own life but instead walked into her husband’s bedroom to speak to him.

“I wanted him to say, ‘I am sorry, Pen’. He didn’t, he just said, ‘For God’s sake, you are pathetic, get on with it and go back to bed’,” she said.

I was in utter despair. I looked at him and said, ‘I have done nothing wrong, admit you are sorry’. He said, ‘For God’s sake shut up’. He literally couldn’t be bothered.”

Ms Jackson admits manslaughter but denies murder, claiming he was coercive and controlling and also physically violent toward her.

Gesticulating to the jury to show how she stabbed her husband last February 13, Ms Jackson said: “I just lost it. I was in utter despair, I just lost control. He said, ‘Come on then’. It was like I just lost it and I didn’t know why I did it. I have not been violent in my life, I never even smacked children.”

The court heard Ms Jackson then left the bedroom and took the knife to the kitchen where she wrote a note confessing to the stabbing.

She went into the lounge of their home in Somerset to ring the police. Her husband then walked into the kitchen, telling her: “See how it feels to have the police phoned on you.”

Ms Jackson said her husband put his face up to hers as he spoke to the 999 call handler.

“It was almost a look of delight. He was goading and said I was pathetic and couldn’t do it right,” she said. “I just thought I wasn’t angry, I couldn’t cope any more.”

Again, showing the jury how she stabbed her husband, Ms Jackson said: “I stabbed him again and he said, ‘She’s done it again’. He fell down and I picked up the phone. I’ve read the transcript. I don’t remember saying any of it.”

Clare Wade QC, defending, asked Ms Jackson: “When you stabbed him, did you intend to kill him?” Ms Jackson replied: “I didn’t intend to kill him. I just lost all control. I couldn’t take any more.”

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