Widow who killed husband may have persuaded third to gas himself

Black widow who stabbed fourth husband to death may have ‘coerced’ third spouse into gassing himself in his garage after she put down his two beloved Rottweilers while he was in Saudi Arabia on business and started an affair, his brother claims

  • Penny Jackson, 66, stabbed fourth husband David, 78, and told 999 he was ‘bleeding to death with luck’
  • She had denied murder but admitted manslaughter, telling the jury she was victim of years of violence 
  • Now the brother of her  third husband, Alan Warrender, has claimed she coerced him into taking his own life 
  • Said she was ‘strangely upbeat’ during funeral and had been a controlling presence throughout relationship 

A black widow may have coerced her third husband into gassing himself in the garage of their family home, his brother claims.

Stewart Warrender said Penny Jackson made his brother Alan’s life a misery before he uncovered her affair with retired army officer husband David Jackson in 1993 and took his own life.

She was today found guilty of murdering Mr Jackson, husband number four, who she stabbed to death at their home in February.

During the trial at Bristol Crown Court, Penny admitted that she had ‘driven’ her previous husband to suicide by cheating on him.

Alan Warrender quit the RAF to take a job in Saudi Arabia to pay off debts he built up.

He returned to their home in Grantham, Lincolnshire, to find the wife he was devoted to had started an affair with David Jackson and had his two healthy Rottweiler dogs put down while he was away.

The murder trial heard Alan discovered the pair together after days returning from the Middle East in April 1993. The two men started brawling over Penny. A few days later 43-year-old Alan was dead. 

Penny Jackson, 66, stabbed 78-year-old David Jackson (pictured together), a retired lieutenant colonel, three times in the kitchen of their family home 

To the outside world the Jacksons seemed like a successful and content retired couple with so much money tucked away they went on several cruises a year and had a holiday home in France 

Mr Warrender believes rather than just finding his brother unconscious in his car after he had gassed himself following a row, as she claimed to the jury, she may have actually persuaded him to do it.

He said that she was ‘strangely upbeat’ during his brother’s funeral and had been a controlling presence throughout their relationship, which started less than a year after the death of Alan’s first wife Beverley.

He even told how he believes Penny to have persuaded Alan to put the adopted son ‘he had always wanted’ back into care just after they had met.

Mr Warrender – who stepped in as best man at Penny and Alan’s wedding after the former one withdrew because he didn’t approve of his friend’s fiancée – said he had always ‘had suspicions’ about Alan’s suicide. 

He told MailOnline: ‘He took his life not long after finding out about her and David. As you can imagine he was distraught, it tore him to pieces inside.

‘But I never had any concerns over my brother’s rationality, even when he went through it after his first wife Bev died of cancer.

‘He could’ve lived a half decent life without Penny, who clearly didn’t love him anymore.

‘Did Penny really find him unconscious in his car after an argument or was she there when he gassed himself? Did she coerce him into doing it? I’ve always thought that was a possibility.’ 

Mr Warrender said his suspicions were first aroused when she did not appear to be overly upset at his brother’s funeral and have been reinforced following recent revelations that Pennymurdered David after taking a knife to bed with the original intention to kill herself until she went for him.

Stewart Warrender said Penny (pictured) made his brother Alan’s life a misery before he uncovered her affair with David Jackson in 1993 and took his life

The Jacksons regularly enjoyed holidays abroad, and are pictured here during two of their getaways 

He said: ‘There was something definitely off about her behaviour during Alan’s funeral.

‘I know people grieve in different ways but she seemed strangely upbeat for someone whose husband had just committed suicide.

‘It wasn’t the case that Alan had been ill for some time and his death was expected. It was sudden and a shock but she didn’t appear to be too upset. There was a distinct lack of empathy with her that day.

‘It’s why I’ve always had the niggling thought in my head about the way Alan died.

‘And then to read how she took a knife to bed and killed David Jackson, having originally planned to end her own life, it kind of almost confirmed my fears.’

The inquest report from the Grantham Journal was headlined: ‘Man took his life after marital stress’.

It explained that the aviation specialist had recently returned home from a four-month contract in Saudi Arabia when his body was found in the fume-filled Ford Granada.

In her evidence, Penny told the court that her husband had come home to find domestic problems and she had told him their marriage was over.

The coroner ruled Mr Warrender had taken his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed. 

The Jacksons had a holiday home in France and over-wintered in Spain to escape the cold weather  

A former neighbour, who recalled the case, said: ‘It was said he had a lot of alcohol in his system and everyone was surprised that he had managed to reverse the car into the little garage.

‘He had been abroad working and the rumour was that his wife had started seeing someone from the Prince William of Gloucester barracks.

‘I remember he had two Rottweiler dogs which were his pride and joy but his wife had them put to sleep when he was away on one of these lengthy trips to the Middle East.’

Alan married first wife Beverley Alan in 1971 and the couple had two daughters, Samantha and Katherine.

While she was being treated for cancer, the pair made the decision to adopt a nine-year-old boy, the son Alan had always wanted. 

Beverley died in 1987 and Alan met Penny soon afterwards with the couple marrying the following year in South Wales where he was stationed as a chief technical officer with the RAF.

Early in the relationship, the boywas placed back into care, a decision Mr Warrender believes was made by Penny.

The couple later moved to Grantham after Alan had been transferred to RAF Stanton Morley in Norfolk. They had a daughter, Isabelle. 

A still taken from police bodycam footage showing the moment Penny Jackson was arrested by officers on February 13

Mr Warrander added: ‘I always had the impression that whatever Penny wanted, Penny got. She pulled the strings, it seemed to me, as an alpha-female.

‘Alan’s best friend, Brendan, who was quite a religious man and certainly someone with high morals, refused to be his best man at their wedding. Penny was a huge factor in that decision.

‘In Beverley, Alan had also met his soulmate and she was everything that Penny wasn’t, she was compassionate, she was a wife, a mother and had that caring nurturing side to her.

‘Before she passed away, Alan and Bev adopted a nine-year-old boy. Although blessed with two wonderful daughters at the time, my brother always wanted a son.

‘He had a tough start to life and I think he could be a challenge but he was a really nice lad. ‘He went out with me for the afternoon in my truck and loved it. You really get to know someone when you’re cooped up with them in a cab for hours on end.

‘But after Bev died and not long after meeting Penny, he put the boy back into care. I asked Alan about it and I could see it was a very tough and uncomfortable conversation.

‘He didn’t really want to answer the question and inferred that it wasn’t his decision. I didn’t press him too much.

‘I always thought that while Penny was bubbly, confident and very sociable she was quite empty inside. She was soulless and very narcissistic.’

David Jackson, whose wife Penny admitted manslaughter but denied the murder of her husband. Issue date: Monday October 18, 2021

She did pilates at the gym, went on lavish shopping trips and loved to entertain guests at the seaside bungalow she shared with her ‘quiet’ husband David 

Penny told the trial that she was determined to make her relationship and marriage to David work because it would ‘validate Alan’s death’. She admitted to the court that Alan would not have killed himself if she had not cheated on him. 

Like Alan, David had been in a solid and loving 10-year marriage before being lured away by home wrecker Penny.

After leaving his wife Sheila Taylor he later confided in her that he was scared of her, didn’t trust her and feared she would ruin his career.

Not just that, the jury was shocked to hear she had threatened to ‘do a Bobbit’ on him – a euphemism for cutting off his penis.

It referred to a notorious case in the United States when a woman sliced off her sleeping husband’s manhood.

Mrs Taylor told the trial: ‘He was very frightened and he believed she was capable of carrying out that threat.’

She told the court Penny loved to make her fourth husband squirm with embarrassment and had a reputation for baiting people and making them feel uncomfortable.

When her teenage grandson came to stay she would sit naked brushing her hair with the bedroom door open, the court heard. 

It was Jackson’s third marriage – the first, at the age of 17, was to Melvyn Porter whose family say he has ‘no happy memories’ of their time together.

They had two children together, Rebecca and Victoria. Jackson later donated one of her kidneys to Rebecca but the murder trial heard they are now estranged and haven’t spoken to each other in years.

The home of Penny and David Jackson in Berrow, Somerset, as seen on February 13 with officers outside

Penny pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder after fatally stabbing her husband David Jackson, 78

Penny left Mr Porter to look after their two children after falling for RAF airman Anthony Rothwell. 

They were married for 10 years but she described their relationship as a ‘loving friendship’ but told the court he ‘preferred relationships with chaps’. 

Her next two husbands, both in the services, were Alan Warrender and David Jackson.

To the outside world the Jacksons seemed like a successful and content retired couple with so much money tucked away they went on several cruises a year and had a holiday home in Bergerac, South West France.

After they sold the property, the pair wintered in Spain because they ‘hated the cold weather’.

Outgoing and vivacious, Penny loved going to the gym, splashing out on shopping trips and gardening at their £450,000 luxury bungalow in the village of Berrow, Somerset.

But David had no hobbies or interests and, after beating prostate and bowel cancer, spent his days at home waiting for Penny to return from her many outings.

Penny told the murder trial ‘he loved me and I loved him’ but she tried to convince the jury the marriage wasn’t happy because of her husband’s abuse and violence.

The mother-of-three claimed she’d ‘had enough’ and hid an eight-inch filleting knife under her pillow with the intention of killing herself on the night of February 13 – her 66th birthday.

Instead she stabbed her husband in the abdomen and, as he desperately begged an emergency operator for help, she knifed him again.

Sketch of Penny Jackson at Bristol Crown Court, where she admitted manslaughter but denied murder 

People in the courtroom shuddered at his screams were heard during 999 call while Penny calmly said: ‘I should have stabbed him a bit more’. 

Penny was arrested in her Marks & Spencer pyjamas and continued confessing to police that she had killed her husband. 

At the top of her confession note found at the scene Penny scrubbed the words: ‘Self-defence or pre-meditated.’

The first stabbing in the bedroom of the couple’s smart bungalow could have been an instinctive reaction.

But the jury repeatedly heard a recording of the second stabbing in the kitchen – it was deliberate and cold-blooded. It was murder.

Wealthy retired accountant Penny had the words ‘Property of David John Jackson’ tattooed on her right buttock to tease and provoke her husband.

She even stifled a little giggle in the witness box when she referred to the tattoo which her husband of 24 years hated.

As she starts her life sentence for murder, she will have her victim’s name inked on her body for the rest of her days. 

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