Wife killed husband after money row, court told

Police in Rope Quay after Mr Parkinson's death
Police in Rope Quay after Mr Parkinson's death
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A WOMAN stabbed her husband to death after a violent row about money troubles, a court heard.

Jennifer Parkinson is accused of murdering retired headteacher turned property developer Michael Parkinson at their home in Gosport.

The 65-year-old stabbed him three times, in the chest, back and hand, in their penthouse flat at Sanderling Lodge, Rope Quays, a gated community off Mumby Road, Gosport.

Mr Parkinson was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth, after his wife dialed 999 at about 6.45pm on March 22, 2010 but he died in the early hours of March 23.

Parkinson admits she stabbed her husband but denies a charge of murder.

Opening the case against her at Winchester Crown Court Nigel Lickley QC said: ‘She was to tell the police in interview that she did not act in self defence and she was angry.

‘She said she stabbed her husband in the back, she thought twice. The injuries were consistent with three sweeps of the knife.’

He added: ‘The prosecution in this case allege that Jennifer Parkinson unlawfully killed her husband. That is not in dispute.

‘What is in dispute is why she did it, what she did and what she intended when she did it.

‘We submit that in the circumstances and in particular bearing in mind the injuries, that the actions of this defendant were not only deliberate but were consistent with an intent on her part to either kill or cause serious harm.

‘The principal cause of death was the major stab wound to the chest. ‘He died because of the catastrophic bleeding compounded by the loss of lung function from that main stab wound which penetrated deeply into the left lung.’

He told the jury there were tensions in the relationship because of financial problems.

The couple had only just moved in to the Gosport flat a few weeks before the attack.

Mr Parkinson had been a headteacher at a school in Rutland but he retired early after a nervous breakdown, the court heard.

The couple owned about 20 properties which they rented out but many had been damaged by flooding, which cost them money.

In the months before his death they were losing £4,000 a month because of rising interest rates, although by the time of the attack they were making a monthly profit of £2,000, the court heard.

Mr Lickley said that Mrs Parkinson’s 999 call was recorded and she could be 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 Mrs Parkinson declined to have a solicitor saying ‘It won’t change anything. I don’t want to defend myself in any way,’ the jury heard.

Asked in her interview what happened she said: ‘We had a fairly violent altercation as you can imagine.

‘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: ‘I didn’t think I had done a lot of damage. 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.’

She told police the attack was not in self defence.

‘There are no mitigating circumstances,’ the jury was told she had said.

‘I picked up a knife and I stabbed my husband to death. I can’t get over that.

‘The dam just burst obviously in me.

‘I would never want to kill my husband, it was just anger, just viciousness. It was like hitting out but with a knife in my hand.’

She told police that her husband was stressed by money worries and blamed her for encouraging him to go into the buy to let market.

She said they often argued but he had never hit her.

Both of them were described as heavy social drinkers and on the night of the stabbing Mrs Parkinson had drunk a litre of wine.

The trial is expected to last five days.

(Proceeding)