Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Woman 'killed husband amid rows over property costs'

A woman killed her husband when their relationship became strained due to the pressures on their buy-to-let empire caused by rising interest rates, a court has heard.

Jennifer Parkinson, 65, denies murdering Michael Parkinson, 63, at their flat in Gosport, Hampshire.

Winchester Crown Court heard the couple were believed to have owned about 20 properties in Rutland.

Mr Parkinson suffered three stab wounds on 22 March 2010 and died in hospital.

The court heard they had moved into a £330,000 flat with sea views in Sanderling Lodge, Rope Quays, Gosport - which they had previously rented out - days before Mr Parkinson died.

Mobile home

Mrs Parkinson told police in an interview they had both been in the habit of drinking heavily, leading to arguments, the court was told.

Prosecuting, Nigel Lickley QC told the court Mr Parkinson had worked as a headteacher but left the profession after suffering a nervous breakdown.

He described how Mr Parkinson, with his wife of 10 years, had invested in the buy-to-let market.

But the court heard rising interest rates and flooding costs had caused profits to slump.

Mr Lickley said Mrs Parkinson told police that at one point the couple were losing £4,000 a month and facing bankruptcy.

This led to them living in a motor home for a while which they used to travel around to collect rent from tenants, the jury heard.

Mr Lickley said Mrs Parkinson told police: "Properties caused rows and stress.

"He (Mr Parkinson) blamed her for going into the buy-to-let market in the first place."

Describing one argument between them, Mrs Parkinson said: "I would never want to kill my husband, I was just angry, viciousness, but never to take his life.

"I was, like, hitting out but with a knife in my hand. It has never happened before."

The court heard Mrs Parkinson had admitted she had stabbed her husband in the back and had not acted out of self defence.

The trial continues.

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