A FORMER Rutland and Stamford Mercury receptionist who stabbed her husband to death during a row over money has been jailed for three years and eight months.
Wearing black trousers and a black short-sleeved top and flanked by two female security guards, Jennifer Parkinson stood and nodded as she was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.
Parkinson, 66, was cleared of murder after a trial last month on the grounds that she did not intend to cause serious harm to her husband Michael but she pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Judge Guy Boney, QC, told her: “You took your husband’s life and at the same time ruined what is left of your own life.”
The couple lived in Church Lane, Bisbrooke, near Uppingham, until about three years ago. Parkinson worked as a receptionist at the Mercury’s office in Oakham from 1990 to 2001.
Mr Parkinson, 63, was a former headteacher at Roplsey Primary School near Grantham. He retired early after suffering a nervous breakdown.
The couple were well-known singers performing under the stage name of Deja Vu.
They owned about 20 properties in Rutland and had experienced financial problems following rises in interest rates.
Parkinson had always admitted stabbing her husband three times, in the chest, back and hand, in their penthouse apartment in Gosport, Hampshire, in March last year following a row over their finances. The couple had been married for 20 years.
Sentencing her on Wednesday, Judge Boney said: “It’s the case that your anguish and remorse, once your reason had been returned to its rightful pedestal was as profound and deeply felt as it’s possible to imagine.
“I am quite satisfied that your remorse and sorrow will be with you for the rest of your life.”
Friend and neighbour Robert Harvey said the Parkinsons appeared to be devoted to each other and didn’t seem to have a care in the world.
In fact the couple had been losing £4,000 a month and were forced to live in a motorhome for a period.
On the day of the tragedy, they had both been drinking before a violent row over money.
Parkinson told the court she was upset after her husband had blamed her for getting them into financial difficulties.
She insisted she picked up the knife only to stop her husband “in his tracks” and never intended to use it.
The judge said: “Once your husband had disarmed you one might have thought you would realise what you were doing and left the knife on the floor where it was.
“Instead you regained possession and used it to devastating effect.”
Mr Parkinson was taken to hospital after his wife dialled 999, but he died of his injuries.
John Coffey QC, for Parkinson, said: “Her punishment began on the day that the fateful events took place and she has accepted and must continue to accept that it was at her act and at her hand that her husband has lost his life.
“Her regret was immediate and her remorse will stay with her frankly until her dying day.”
The 406 days that Parkinson has already spent in custody will be deducted from her sentence.