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Man screamed on finding wife's body


Pennie Davis was found dead in a field where she kept her horses in the New Forest

Pennie Davis was found dead in a field where she kept her horses in the New Forest

Pennie Davis was found dead in a field where she kept her horses in the New Forest

The husband of murder victim Pennie Davis collapsed and screamed "No, not this way" when he discovered her body, a court has heard.

Mrs Davis, 47, a mother-of-five, was found dead by her husband, Peter Davis, on September 2 in a field where she had been tending her horses at Leygreen Farm, Beaulieu, in the New Forest in Hampshire.

Justin Robertson, 36, of no fixed address, denies her murder and conspiracy to murder. Benjamin Carr, 22, of Edward Road, Southampton, and Samantha Maclean, 28, of Beech Crescent, Hythe, are charged with conspiracy to murder, which they deny.

Loud sobbing could be heard from the public gallery at Winchester Crown Court as Mr Davis's statement was read to the jury, describing how he arrived at the farm to help his wife tend to their four horses and pick up the horse manure.

Having parked his car, he went to Mrs Davis's 4x4 to collect some equipment from the unlocked vehicle.

He said: "I noticed that her handbag was in the passenger footwell so I shut the back door, opened the front door, got her purse out and put it in my pocket.

"I was going to moan at her for leaving the 4x4 unlocked with the purse in the handbag because we had just moved down to the farm and we didn't know it was safe.

"I could see two of the horses in the field. As I got nearer, I could see Pennie, she was lying on the grass, her head was towards the road, her legs to the left.

"Her midriff was on show so I thought she was sunbathing. I walked towards the entrance to the field. I shouted 'Get up, you lazy sod'. She didn't move.

"I think I shouted again but she didn't say anything or move so I knew something was wrong. I ran towards her and saw her cheek had blood on it. I knew that she was dead.

"She was pale and her eyes were open, her blue eyes were just staring out to the side."

Mr Davis said his wife's body and the surrounding grass had blood on it and then he saw her wounds.

He said: "I shouted out 'No, not this way, no, not this way'.

"I then screamed for help, I got my phone and started to dial 111 and then thought 'No, 999' and I phoned 999."

He said workers at the farm came to his assistance before he collapsed.

He said: "I just lost it and collapsed, they put me on a seat and I screamed and screamed and screamed."

Mr Davis added: "Pennie and I married in May 2014 and we were very much in love. Pennie had a passion for horses before I met her and I hadn't really had any interest in horses but I soon became involved and my interest grew. The family now have four horses."

The court has heard that Carr, who is the son of a former partner of Mrs Davis, is accused of paying Robertson £1,500 to carry out the killing.

He wanted her "silenced" because she had threatened to repeat allegations that he had indecently assaulted someone when he was 14 years old.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, has told the jury that Carr is the son of Timothy Carr, who was in a relationship with Mrs Davis from November 2005 to 2012.

He told the court that, in December 2006, Mrs Davis accused Benjamin Carr of indecently assaulting someone and reported the offence to the police, although he was not arrested and no further action was taken against him.

Timothy Carr told the court that he met Mrs Davis, who had five children from previous relationships, while they were on a cruise in 2005 and they moved in together at their home in Chichester, West Sussex.

It was at this property that Benjamin Carr saw Mrs Davis having sex with someone who Mr Carr told the court was her estranged husband to whom she was still married.

Mr Carr said that when his son told him about what he had witnessed, he confronted Mrs Davis, who said she had been raped and the allegation was passed to Littlehampton police station, although no prosecution followed.

James Scobie QC, representing Benjamin Carr, said: "She asked your son to confirm that she was effectively having sex with another man against her will and he refused because, as far as he was concerned, it was clear to him it was consenting.

"He refused to do as she asked, the allegation went nowhere. Thereafter the two of them never really got on at all."

Mr Carr, an electrician, said he had been forced to make a choice between having a relationship with his son and Mrs Davis, and he became estranged from him for three years when he went to live with his mother following the indecent assault allegation in 2006.

Mr Scobie also told the court that, after the family moved to Lymington, Mrs Davis on one occasion attacked Benjamin Carr by grabbing him around the neck following an argument.

Mr Scobie told the court that Carr had struggled at school with dyslexia and ADHD and had gone on to make money from working as a scaffolder and dealing drugs.

The trial has heard that on August 20 last year, Mrs Davis sent Facebook messages to Timothy Carr's fiancee and now wife, Alison Carr (nee Macintyre), in which she threatened to again tell police the indecent assault allegations.

Mr Carr said his son was still "angered and hurt" by the allegations, which he had always denied.

He said: "There was always a threat, she was always one for making threats."

He said that after his relationship with Mrs Davis ended, she continued for a while to send him messages and turn up at his home and place of work wanting to get back together despite the fact that she had begun a new relationship with another man.

Mrs Carr, an emergency care assistant, told the court that she was "very unhappy" at receiving the Facebook messages from Mrs Davis.

She said: "She didn't say anything in those messages I didn't already know all about.

"I did have concerns she might turn up on the day and if she did there are plenty of people there to stop her coming in.

"If anything was going to happen, there would have been plenty of people to stop anything happening. As far as we were concerned, that was it, those messages were stupid, they shouldn't have been sent, we do not know why she had sent them, move on."

Mrs Carr said she was aware that Benjamin Carr had had confrontations with Mrs Davis in supermarkets, including on one occasion when he threw a container of soup on the ground, causing some of it to splash on her.

She said: "He always walked away from Pennie."

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.