Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Pennie Davis death trial jury considers verdict

Pennie Davis Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Pennie Davis was found stabbed in a field where she had been tending to her horses

A jury has been sent out to consider its verdict in the trial of a woman stabbed to death in the New Forest.

Pennie Davis, 47, was found dead in a field near Beaulieu on 2 September. Justin Robertson, 36, denies murder.

Summing up at Winchester Crown Court, Mr Justice Andrew Popplewell reminded the jury there was "no forensic evidence" linking Mr Robertson to the killing.

Benjamin Carr, 22, and Samantha Maclean, 28, deny conspiracy to murder.

'Conspiracy to silence'

Mr Robertson is accused of murdering Mrs Davis in a remote field near Beaulieu as part of a conspiracy to "silence her" orchestrated by Mr Carr, her former stepson.

Mr Carr allegedly recruited the defendant to kill her over fears she would go back to police with sexual assault allegations made against him.

The prosecution told the court Mr Carr had wanted to stop her disrupting his father's wedding.

Jurors were told Mr Robertson left keys for the car he was driving, which belonged to Ms Maclean, next to the body of Mrs Davis.

But Mr Justice Popplewell told the jury "no fingerprint evidence was found on the keys".

Mr Robertson had offered no explanation as to how they got there, he added.

The jury also heard that despite police searches, no DNA from Mr Robertson was found on Mrs Davies' body.

'On edge'

Mr Robertson did not deny being in the area at the time and was given a lift by his friend Emily James when he realised he had lost the keys to the Vauxhall, the judge said.

"Emily James picked him up and she said in evidence there was nothing unusual about his clothing," said Mr Justice Popplewell.

"Her car was seized on 5 September and she said it hadn't been cleaned out... It was examined for DNA but again nothing was found."

After he was driven to Ms Maclean's house he asked another friend to take him back to the Vauxhall parked close to the crime scene, the judge added.

The pair stopped off to buy cigarettes and chocolate.

Witnesses had described Mr Robertson as "on edge" after the killing, the court heard.

Jurors were later sent home for the night.

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