Killer wife’s tears as she is cleared of murder charge

NOT GUILTY Jennifer Parkinson, pictured in a prison van, was cleared of murder
NOT GUILTY Jennifer Parkinson, pictured in a prison van, was cleared of murder

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A WOMAN who stabbed her husband to death during a row over money fought back tears in the dock as she was cleared of his murder.

Jennifer Parkinson’s eyes welled up as she was found not guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court which had deliberated for five hours.

The six women and six men reached a unanimous verdict.

The 65-year-old always admitted knifing Michael Parkinson in their Gosport penthouse apartment.

But she maintained throughout her trial that she had not meant to kill him.

Before the murder trial she had already pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter. She will be sentenced on Wednesday week.

Parkinson stabbed her husband, a retiredheadteacher turned property developer, three times, in the chest, back and hand, in their home off Mumby Road on March 22 last year.

‘We loved each other,’ she told the court in her evidence. ‘I was proud of being his wife of 20 years.

‘There was no way I wanted him seriously injured or dead.

‘I will miss him for the rest of my life.’

During her seven-day trial the court heard how the couple had a violent row caused by money worries over the properties they let out.

Mrs Parkinson insisted she only picked up the knife to stop her husband ‘in his tracks’, and never intended to use it.

She said: ‘I picked up and brandished a knife at my husband.

‘He said “don’t you dare brandish a knife at me”.

‘He grabbed my arm and pushed me back and I fell against a plastic storage box.

‘I kicked out, picked up the knife and stabbed. I don’t know why.’

She added: ‘It didn’t seem to go in very far but he rolled over on his side and gasped and I saw the blood coming out.

‘There was a lot of blood.’

Mr Parkinson was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, after his wife dialled 999, but he died of his injuries.

In her 999 call Mrs Parkinson was heard to say: ‘Mike, Mike, I have killed my husband.

‘Oh my God, get someone here, get someone here please.’

When she was interviewed by the police she initially declined to have a solicitor saying ‘It won’t change anything. I don’t want to defend myself in any way.’

Mr Parkinson had been a headteacher at a school in Rutland but retired early after a nervous breakdown.

The couple had been losing £4,000 a month after running into financial troubles and were forced to live in a motor-home for a period.

Judge Guy Boney QC remanded Mrs Parkinson in custody and adjourned the case until a sentencing hearing on May 4.