A DAUGHTER has revealed how her dad held a knife to his abused wife's throat at a BBQ, leaving the family scared before the mum stabbed him to death.
Isobel Potterton, 31, is the daughter of Penelope Jackson and the adopted daughter of David Jackson - who once put a knife to her mum's throat at a garden party.
Penelope, 66, stabbed 78-year-old David three times in the kitchen of their home on Parsonage Road in Berrow, Somerset, on February 13 this year.
Jackson admits manslaughter but denies murder, claiming her husband, a retired lieutenant colonel, was both violent and coercively controlling of her.
Their daughter has now described incidents between 1997 and 1998 before the stabbing between her dad David and mum, Penelope, 66, that left her "scared".
She said David once held a knife against her mum's throat on the landing - and it took three of the guests to pull her father off her mother.
On another occasion, her mum's ''nose was bleeding and dad had her pinned up against the wall''.
She also revealed on the fatal night a row broke out about potatoes and bubble and squeak - and an iPad charger.
Jackson denies murder at Bristol Crown Court.
Speaking today, Isobel recalled one occasion in Germany where her father had been stationed with the army.
She remembers a sudden change in mood among guests before everyone ran towards the house and up to her parent's bedroom.
Isobel told Bristol Crown Court: "I can remember mum saying something, everyone jumping up, and then running into the house," she told the court.
"Everybody was upstairs on the landing at the doorway of mum and dad's bedroom.
''Dad had a knife to mum's throat. She was against the doorway."
Family members eventually managed to pull Mr Jackson arm back and disarm him, she said.
Mrs Potterton said she was taken to stay with nearby friends for a short period after the attack before she returned to her parents.
She also remembers a time when she had just come off the bus from primary school, also in Germany, when she witnessed her dad once again grappling with her mum.
YEARS OF ABUSE
Isobel said: "Mum was up against the wall of the hallway. Her nose was bleeding and dad had her pinned up against the wall."
She added: "After that, mum packed two suitcases, and we went and stayed in a hotel that night. She said we were leaving."
However, later the next day the pair reconciled, and she returned with her mother back to the family home.
Mrs Potterton said she arranged for the birthday dinner to take place over a Zoom call on February 13 this year.
Due to the lockdown, she had sourced the food in advance so the family could eat together.
"We had cocktails to start off with," she said. "We'd all dressed up, it was all good."
However, Mrs Potterton said that an argument among her parents that had arisen over a lack of potatoes in the pre-prepared food box had resurfaced over the zoom call.
She said: "When they opened the box before, I was told that dad had said, "Oh, there's not a lot there." And then Mum had said 'It's okay, I'll get bubble and squeak out'.
"The meal was that you had the lobster with the potatoes, and you had the steak with the broccoli. Dad was a bit confused about why you wouldn't have potatoes with steak.
"When it came to it and mum said something about the bubble and squeak, dad said 'well, I didn't want the bubble and squeak, and then they had a bicker about who had first said about the bubble and squeak or not.
"I just rolled my eyes because I just thought, 'Oh, they're being silly.' I just tried to move the conversation along.'' Later, another argument broke out between the married couple as the iPad that they were using for the group Zoom call was running out of battery.
"They were having a bicker about it not charging," remembered Mrs Potterton. "Dad said something along the lines of, 'Your mum will never admit when she's wrong,'" Mrs Potterton said.
"I could see that mum was getting upset. Dad was walking out of the room, so we just said we'd leave it there."
She called her mother at 8.08pm to check she was OK.
"(The defendant) said: 'I'm absolutely fine, don't worry I'll call you in the morning'," Mrs Potterton said.
Not long after that David Jackson was stabbed in an upstairs bedroom of the married couple's home in Berrow, Somerset by his wife.
The trial continues.
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP
Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
"If you or anyone you know is impacted by this story, or is feeling afraid and would like to talk to someone please contact Women's Aid Live Chat. We are completely confidential."