‘Hitman’ accused of stabbing woman to death says: “Money no problem to me"

Pennie Davis
Pennie Davis

A man accused of being hired for £1,500 to murder a mother-of-five who was stabbed to death as she tended her horses in a New Forest field has told a court that the amount allegedly offered was "no financial reward" for killing.

Pennie Davis, 47, who worked at a supermarket, was found dead by her husband, Peter Davis, in a field at Leygreen Farm, Beaulieu, Hampshire, on September 2 last year.

Justin Robertson, 36, of no fixed address, who denies her murder and conspiracy to murder, was traced by police after he dropped a set of car keys at the murder scene, Winchester Crown Court has heard.

Benjamin Carr, 22, of Edward Road, Southampton, and Samantha Maclean, 28, of Beech Crescent, Hythe, are also on trial charged with conspiracy to murder, which they deny.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, has told the court that Carr paid Robertson £1,500 to murder Mrs Davis who he feared would tell police of an accusation of indecent assault against him made by another person.

Robertson told the court that his only dealings with Carr had been about drugs and had not known anything about Mrs Davis until after her death and the day before he was arrested.

Mr Smith put it to the defendant that he carried out the killing because he was in financial difficulties and having to live "hand to mouth" by staying on people's sofas for several months.

Robertson, who has told the court that he is a serial burglar, said: "Money is no problem to me."

He added: "The money they say is being offered, that's not a financial reward. What they are saying is they are offering me a Monopoly board without a dog and a hat and a car."

The court has heard that the money that was to be paid by Carr to Robertson turned out to be fake notes.

Robertson said: "It's not just £1,500, it's £1,500 of funny money. I can spot a dodgy tenner or a dodgy fiver."

Robertson has told the court that he was at Leygreen Farm on the day of the murder as he had intended to burgle a nearby property but did not carry out the raid when someone came out of the house.

Mr Smith also put to Robertson that Carr persuaded him to carry out the killing by making up that Mrs Davis was a paedophile who had abused him as a child.

Robertson denied this, saying it was just rumours.

He said: "Sometimes hitmen are the most unlikely people you are going to meet. Contract killers, they do not care who they are killing as long as the money is paid."

And he added: "I made it clear to everybody I hate nonces, I wear my heart on my sleeve."