A FORMER Chichester woman was stabbed to death as she tended her horses in a New Forest field to ‘silence her’, a court has heard.
Mother-of-five Pennie Davis, 47, was found dead by her husband on September 2 last year, in a field at Leygreen Farm, Beaulieu, Hampshire.
Winchester Crown Court heard today (Tuesday, March 3) that Mrs Davis was murdered because one of the defendants held a ‘lasting sense of animosity’ after she went to police about allegations of sexual assault.
Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, said Benjamin Carr enlisted Justin Robertson to murder Mrs Davis.
Robertson, 36, of no fixed address, denies murder and conspiracy to murder.
He was traced by police after he dropped a set of car keys at the murder scene, Winchester Crown Court was told.
Carr, 22, of Edward Road, Southampton, and Samantha Maclean, 28, of Beech Crescent, Hythe, are charged with conspiracy to murder, which they deny.
Mr Smith QC, prosecuting, said: “Penelope Davis went to tend her horses in a field at a farm near Beaulieu on the edge of the New Forest.
“Whilst there and alone in a small paddock within the horse field, she was attacked and repeatedly stabbed by the defendant, Justin Robertson.
“Penelope’s body was found later that same afternoon lying in the field by her husband, Peter Davis, who had left work and come to give her a hand with the horses.
“They had only been married for a matter of months.”
Mr Smith continued: “The defendant, Justin Robertson, had agreed to kill Penelope Davis for money.
“He had agreed to kill her for the defendant Ben Carr.
“It was he, Ben Carr, who had the plan, Robertson and Carr carried out that plan to kill Penelope Davis with the help of their fellow defendant Samantha Maclean.”
Mr Smith said Carr had wanted Mrs Davis ‘silenced’ because he believed she would make an allegation to police that he had indecently assaulted someone, a complaint she had previously made.
He said: “Why would Ben Carr want Penelope Davis killed?
“The answer to that question, which will remain at the heart of this trial, probably lies in the fact that Ben Carr believed that Mrs Davis was going to go to the police, as she had done before, and allege that he had previously indecently assaulted (someone).
“It was for that reason, principally it seems, that Ben Carr wanted Penelope Davis silenced, so he recruited others to help him.”
Mr Smith said Mrs Davis knew Carr because she had been in a relationship with his father, Timothy, from about 2006 to 2012.
He said Ben Carr had a ‘lasting hate and anger’ towards Mrs Davis after she made a complaint to police about allegations of sexual assault against him when he was 14.
Mr Smith said police took no further action on the complaint and added Carr ‘strenuously and consistently’ denied the allegations.
He said: “The accusations left Ben Carr with a lasting sense of animosity, hatred, towards Pennie Davis.
“It didn’t, say the Crown, wear off.”
Mr Smith said Mrs Davis repeated the allegations against Carr in August last year after she found out Timothy Carr was to marry his new partner, Alison Macintyre.
He said Mrs Davis sent Facebook messages to Ms Macintyre saying one of the alleged victims of Carr would be making a statement to police.
Mrs Davis wrote in one message: “Good luck, you will need it.”
Mr Smith said: “It was not just spoiling the new family that was starting with the imminent marriage, it was much more than that, she was trying to do something specifically to harm him, to throw his life in utter turmoil with the allegations that he says were falsely made against him.”
Mr Smith added Robertson and Carr admitted knowing each other as they had a connection through drugs and Carr promised to pay Robertson £1,500 for the killing.
The trial is set to continue tomorrow, Wednesday.