Abused wife who murdered husband 'unquestionably' drove previous spouse to kill himself, relative reveals

THE third husband of a killer wife took his own life after learning she was having an affair with the man she eventually murdered.

Alan Warrender, a chief engineer in the RAF, killed himself learning wife Penny had been cheating on him with David Jackson.

Two decades later, Penny, 66, was sentenced to life behind bars after stabbing Mr Jackson in a row over a luxury birthday meal at their Somerset home.

After slashing the victim across the chest in a bedroom, Jackson, who said she was a victim of domestic violence, knifed him twice more as the 78-year-old desperately dialled 999 in the kitchen.

Mr Warrender's family said last night that the 43-year-old dad-of-four was in despair after learning wife Penny was cheating on him in 1993. He took his own life days after discovering the affair.

He was also drinking to excess and struggling with spiralling debts when he died.

One of his relatives, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Daily Mail: "There's no question that the affair drove him to his death.

"After what she did to him and his family before she went on to murder her next husband, she should never be released from prison.

"She is a ruthless, greedy, angry woman. She is a danger to society."

Mr Warrender and Jackson – then Penny Rothwell – met at RAF St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales during the late 1980s.

Jackson was just emerging from her second short-lived marriage to another MoD worker, Tony Rothwell, while Mr Warrender was married to his first wife, Beverley.


The relative told the publication Mr Warrender and Beverley were "soulmates" who eloped in their early 20s. They had two daughters and adopted a son together before travelling around the world through Mr Warrender's work.

But when Mr Warrender was based in Wales, he met Jackson – then working as a budget manager.

Beverley told friends she believed her husband could be having an affair. She died of breast cancer at the age of just 36 after discovering he was being unfaithful, the relative said.

Weeks later, Mr Warrender and Jackson had moved in together.

They wed in 1988, and Mr Warrender's children with Beverley were sent to boarding school. His adopted son went to live with Beverley's family after he and Jackson tried to return him into care.

In 1990, Mr Warrender and Jackson, already a mum-of-two, welcomed a daughter, Isabelle.

But the relative said things were already going badly, with the couple falling into debt and Mr Warrender turning to Beverley's distraught parents for cash.

He took on work in Saudi Arabia – and Jackson, left with her young daughter at home, began an affair with married Lieutenant Colonel David Jackson after meeting him in the officers' mess.

Mr Warrender discovered the affair after returning from the Middle East in 1993. It's claimed he learned Jackson had paid for his two healthy dogs to be destroyed at the same time.


He and Mr Jackson fought outside the Army barracks – and days later, Mr Warrender killed himself.

An inquest into his death found he had committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Jackson told the court she had a "one-night stand" with Mr Jackson, which she "regretted".

However, Mr Warrender's brother Stewart said earlier this month that Jackson believed her husbands were "disposable" – and may have persuaded him to do it.

"I was never fully satisfied with the inquest verdict," he said.

"It didn't ring true in my mind.

"I've always thought my brother passed away before his time in circumstances that were unknown – that's probably the best way to put it."

By 1996, Jackson had remarried for a fourth time. Mr Jackson adopted Isabelle, who believed until she was a teenager that he was her natural father.

Jackson murdered her husband in February this year.

After watching her mother jailed for life, brave Isabelle shared a moving statement, as well as previously-unseen photographs of her parents at her wedding.

"On February 13, my whole world fell away from my feet," she said.

"From the moment when the police knocked on our door and told us what had happened, I had not only lost my dad but I had lost my mum too. My life was changed forever."

You’re Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
  • Movember, www.uk.movember.com
  • Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm

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