Justin Robertson Found Guilty In Pennie Davis Murder

Justin Robertson
Murder: Pennie Davis, left, was killed by a homeless petty crook who was hired by her ex-lover's son

A man has been found guilty of stabbing a mother of five to death as she tended her horses in a New Field paddock.

Justin Robertson was today convicted of murdering Pennie Davis after her ex-lover's son paid him to kill her because she had accused him of sexual assault.

Supermarket worker Mrs Davis, 47, was found dead by her husband on September 2 in a field at Leygreen Farm in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

Robertson, 36, was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to murder following a six-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Jurors heard that Robertson, a homeless petty crook, agreed to kill Mrs Davis for Benjamin Carr, the son of her ex-lover, to stop her telling police that he had allegedly sexually assaulted someone when he was 14.

Carr, 22, from Southampton was found guilty of conspiracy to murder, while co-defendant Samantha Maclean, 28, was cleared of the same charge.

It can now be reported that Robertson's girlfriend, 24-year-old Lian Doyle, earlier pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice after she disposed of his shoes. 

Robertson and Carr will be sentenced later today. 

After the verdict Mrs Davis' family paid tribute to her, describing her as an 'angel' who loved nothing more than to ride her horses.

Her husband Pete, 50, said that she loved showjumping when she was younger, adding: 'To me she was an angel, she was just so caring and she would do anything for anybody.

'When we met we just seemed to click and we saved each other and I knew everything was going to be fine.

'We had our lives just waiting to be taken with both hands together as a married couple and that was taken away from me. It's been a nightmare ever since.

'Well they say it gets easier as time goes on but at the moment I can't see that.'

Justin Robertson
Benjamin Carr

Hitman: Justin Robertson, left, was paid £1,500 in counterfeit banknotes by Benjamin Carr, right

During the trial, it emerged that Carr told Robertson he wanted Mrs Davis dead because she had abused him when he was a child, and paid the hitman £1,500 in counterfeit banknotes.

Mrs Davis, who had only recently married her new husband, was alone in a small paddock in a field tending her horses when she was fatally stabbed.

 

When Mr Davis found her he initially thought she was sunbathing, but when he saw that she was covered in blood he cried for help and yelled: 'No, not this way!'

The trial heard that Mrs Davis knew Carr because she had been in a relationship with his father Timothy from about 2006 to 2012.

Prosecutor Richard Smith QC said Benjamin Carr harboured 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.

Victim: Pennie Davis was found dead by her husband in a New Forest field in September last year

Victim: Pennie Davis was found dead by her husband in a New Forest field in September last year

Mr Smith said police took no further action over the complaint and added that Carr 'strenuously and consistently' denied the allegations.

But the accusations left Carr with a 'lasting sense of animosity, hatred, towards Pennie Davis' which, according to prosecutors, didn't 'wear off'.

Mr Smith said Mrs Davis repeated the allegations against Carr in August last year after she found out that Timothy Carr was to marry his new partner, Alison Macintyre.

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,' and in another: 'I can't forgive him, all the shit he gave me, I f****** hate him and all his family.'

Carr promised Robertson £1,500 for the killing, which he agreed to carry out for 'money and a misguided sense of right and wrong', Mr Smith said.

Search: Forensic police at the site in the New Forest where Mrs Davis was killed in September last year

Search: Forensic police at the site in the New Forest where Mrs Davis was killed in September last year

Tragic: The murder victim's family said she was devoted to looking after her horses

Tragic: The murder victim's family said she was devoted to looking after her horses

Mrs Davis, who had five children from previous relationships, suffered 13 stab wounds caused by 10 individual strikes, he added.

Police linked Robertson to the murder scene after he dropped the keys to Maclean's Vauxhall Zafira car in the field and they were later found by officers searching the area.

Giving evidence, Carr said he only wanted to 'scare' Mrs Davis and did not intend for any physical violence to be used against her.

He told jurors: 'Physical words, no actual physical violence, to warn her to back away from me and my family and the wedding.'

Describing the payment to Robertson, Carr said: 'We talked about £1,500 of false money and that was how it was going to be at first because they have some value on the street.

'That changed later on through the week because he didn't want the fake currency - he wanted real money and £400 cash and a quarter of cocaine.'

Robertson said he agreed to help because he had been told by Carr that he was sexually abused by Mrs Davis as a child.

Carr denied this, claiming that he had only told Robertson: 'She's ruined my life, she brought up these allegations, made them up, yeah, ruined my life.'

Mrs Davis was followed from her work at a Sainsbury's supermarket in her home town of Blackfield to the field near Beaulieu where she kept her horses.

Robertson later confessed to a friend and 'justified' his actions by saying that he believed his victim was a 'nonce'.

Mrs Davis' daughter Georga, 19, described Robertson's behaviour in the witness box as 'disgusting' and 'absolutely vile' as she spoke of her heartbreak at her mother's death.

'She would always drop everything to make sure we were happy - she was amazing,' she said. 'It seemed her one wish was to be there our entire lives but now she can't do that. It's heartbreaking - it's left a massive hole in our lives.

'We know she is there and she is watching over us, she's just not necessarily here and now we have got to do our best to make her proud.'

Her oldest daughter Sophie Pead, 21, added: 'Her death has ripped us apart as a family and it's a massive hole that can never be filled. No one can fill our mum's boots.

'We have to try and pick up and carry on now without her - we have to make her proud but no one can replace her.'

Mrs Davis's son Alex Pead, 20, who is in the Royal Navy, said: 'It feels like a large part of my life has been taken away. It's never going to be the same and she was always there for me.'

 

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By World Staff Writer 04/21/2015 11:38:00
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