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Man accused of murdering mother-of-five laughs in court as he denies knowing her

By Mirror | March 18th 2015

A man accused of murdering a married mother-of-five while she tended her horses today laughed in court as he denied ever knowing her.

Justin Robertson, 36, sat in the witness box as he gave evidence in his trial, accused of murdering horsewoman Pennie Davis, 47, in Hampshire's New Forest.

He told jurors he was in the affluent Beaulieu area on the day Mrs Davis died, but was simply 'mooching' around to find places to burgle in the lead up to her death.

He said he considered the area to be an 'earner' and revealed how he previously 'robbed a butchers' and 'clothing shop' near Leygreen Farm, where her mutilated body was found.

And he added: "I am a money hunter. I don't kill people, I don't hurt people, I have never hit a woman in my life."

Mrs Davis had been brutally stabbed when her distraught husband, Pete, discovered her body in a field next to her beloved horses. The keys found next to her body belonged to a car owned by co-accused Samantha McLean.

Winchester Crown Court today heard details about Robertson's past today.

He told the court he only went to school 'sometimes' and laughed as he told jurors he probably had 'too many convictions' - most of them for theft and assault.

Robertson, who wore a smart grey suit and black tie, laughed and swore a number of times during questioning. He denies murdering Ms Davis, 47, on September 2 last year.

He told the court he had contacted co-defendant Benjamin Carr, 22, using a 'number of phones' before Ms Davis' death to demand £1,800 from Carr - who sold him a 'damp' batch of cocaine.

But he denied ever knowing Pennie Davis and said he did not know how the keys of the Vauxhall Zafira he was driving ended up near her mutilated body.

Robertson said: "I am a money hunter. I don't kill people, I don't hurt people, I have never hit a woman in my life."

"I have never been caught with an offensive weapon and I have been pulled over (by police) left right and centre. I chose shoplifting as a crime."

Robertson's co-defendants, Carr, of Southampton, Hants, and Samantha Maclean, of Hythe, Hants, both deny conspiracy to murder.

The court heard Carr and Robertson first met in May last year, but the pair were not 'friends' and met through drugs.

Mrs Davis, a Sainsbury's supermarket worker, was allegedly murdered after her ex-lover's son Ben Carr paid to have her 'silenced' over fears she would take allegations he sexually assaulted girls to the police.

Robertson said: "He obviously spent a lot of money going to the gym. He thought he was David Beckham.

"He gave me something he said was cocaine but it was no good for sniffing - it was damp.

"We talked mainly over the telephone, rather than face to face. I used a lot of people's phones.

"Part of the reason for using other people's phones was to avoid detection from the police, and part of the reason was because I am a tight ****."

The court heard he phoned Carr to retrieve the £1,800 he paid for the cocaine - which was like 'gloop' and therefore he could not sell.

Robertson denied his relationship with Carr was 'anything other than drugs' and was not aware of who Pennie Davis was. He also denied conspiring with Carr to have Pennie Davis killed.

When recalling the first time he heard Pennie Davis' name, he said: "It was on the Saturday before I got arrested. Somebody else told me."

He told the court he was using a phone known as a 'Beat the Boss' phone to avoid detection from the police.

Robertson said: "A 'Beat the Boss' phone is exactly the same size as a BMW key. It can be put up your a***. I had one."

When asked if it is easy to use, he replied: "No, it is a pain in the a***, literally."

He admitted going to the place near to where Ms Davis was killed but only to look at house he wanted to burgle.

He said: "No, I didn't live in Beaulieu, it's a posh place, init.

"It was an earner. I robbed a butchers' and a clothes' shop in the high street."

When asked if he went to Beaulieu the day before Ms Davis died, he said: "Yes, I think I went with Samantha to go and have a look at a couple of things.

"There was a house I had seen and I was just checking there was the same motors on the drive."

The court heard on the day of Pennie's death - September 2 - he admitted driving Samantha's Vauxhall Zafira to Beaulieu. He said he drove using his 'arms and legs'.

He added: "I did not know who Pennie Davis was. I left the keys in the car, not in the ignition - not even I'm that stupid."

The keys to the Vauxhall Zafira were discovered by police near Pennie's body, but Robertson denied dropping them there.

He said he was in the area to rob the house he was looking at, but couldn't because the owner was there.

The court heard he was wearing an England football shirt, Liverpool or Umbro shorts and was then picked up by his friend.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, previously told the court Carr had '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.

Ms Davis had been in a long-term relationship with Mr Carr's father from about 2006-2012.

The trial continues.

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