“I cut off my husband’s penis. But then of course you know that.”
“But you’re sorry about it?”
“Oh yes, it was a terrible thing to do. I’m thoroughly ashamed of what I did.”
Yvonne Parsons had caused quite a sensation two years ago when she’d ‘grievously assaulted’ her husband, David Ronald Parsons, and the case had become quite a cause célèbre in the tabloid newspapers, where it was known as the ‘Parsons’ Penis Case’, akin to the American case of Wayne Bobbitt, whose wife had done the same thing. The court had taken into account the husband’s cruelty towards her, as well as her fragile mental state. Nevertheless, the judge had given her a four-year sentence, and in a week’s time she would have served two years of her sentence, and the parole board were releasing her early.
So why did she do it, when everyone agreed that Yvonne was a thoroughly nice person, agreeable, friendly and likeable?
As a Behavioural Investigative Adviser to the police my training meant that I could make myself useful chatting to soon-to-be released previously violent criminals, and senior officers had asked me to talk to her to see what I thought of her mental state. On the whole I thought she seemed perfectly well balanced, friendly and agreeable.
“As you know, Jack, two years before I met David, I won the lottery,” Yvonne told me, flicking ash from her cigarette and passing a hand through her shortish blonde hair. “Four million quid to a girl who works 9 to 5 in a factory and lives in a council house is literally a dream come true. I was in my twenties, living on my own with no family nearby, and it was pretty well intolerable to stay where everyone knew who I was. I wanted a complete break, where no one knew who I was or about my win, so I moved to a posh part of town, even changed my name, decided to have a completely fresh start. Trouble was, loneliness was something I’d never thought about, especially as I had no job, no way of meeting people. I got a dear little West highland terrier, Benji, and he was my only companion really.
“I was fat and out of condition, so I joined a gym, thinking it might be a way of getting a bit of a social life. But they were rich people, from different backgrounds to mine, and although I chatted to them, shared a gossip over coffee, they never really accepted me. I was always the odd one out.
“David was one of the personal trainers at the gym. The moment I saws him I was mad about him. All the other women fancied him, and I couldn’t get over the fact it was me he asked out. We got on pretty well, so well in fact that after a couple of months he asked me to marry him.”
“Wasn’t that a bit sudden?”
She nodded. “I should have realised it at the time, but I was in love, more fool me. I should have realised he was wrong for me the first time he met my little dog, Benji. Benji hated him, snapped and snarled all the time, and David hated him back. He kicked him once, and he was always threatening to open the door and let him out onto the busy road so he got run over. Then, a couple of months after the honeymoon, we had a real shouting row, and he hit me. He told me that he only asked me out because he’d found out about my lottery win. That he was actually seeing lots of other girls and he was going to go on doing so, and that he didn’t even fancy me. I was heartbroken, but do you know what he said? He told me that if I didn’t like it we could get divorced. But that he’d take me for a fortune – I checked with a solicitor, it was true. Even though we hadn’t been married long, he could still get a huge settlement off me if we divorced.
“Well the following night he kicked Benji again. I was so angry that I started hitting him. He hit me back hard, knocked me right across the room. And then he just stood there laughing at me, then he told me he’d had enough and he was going out to see this other girl. And he came home in the early hours, smirking and drunk, jeering at me, telling me how much more attractive she was then me and how he found me repulsive. Then he collapsed into bed, pissed and giggling before he passed out. So that’s when I did it.”
“You cut it off.”
“Yeah. I held the end of it in one hand, closed my eyes and then hacked down and sawed with the other hand, with a really sharp carving knife. I regretted it instantly, of course, I was horrified at what I’d done! He was screaming in agony, blood everywhere, so I called the ambulance. But by that time, Benji had picked up David’s penis in his teeth and had started chewing it. I managed to grab the bloody thing out of his mouth, luckily he hadn’t bitten into it too badly. I wrapped it in a bag of frozen peas and gave it to the paramedics when they came. In all the rush and confusion, Benji ran outside and I heard a screech of brakes, and realised David had got his wish – my poor little dog had been run over.
“So there I was in a police cell, Benji had been rushed to the vet and I didn’t know if he’d survive, and they were doing a big operation on David, micro vascular surgery they called it. After a few days they found the operation was a failure. Apparently there was a bacterial infection that stopped the healing process – they thought it could have come from Benjie’s teeth. They had to amputate.”
“What a mess.”
“Not really.” She smiled. “In fact it all worked out quite well in the end. I was held in jail, pending the court case, meanwhile David fell into a deep depression and started drinking heavily. One night he got drunk one night and drove into a wall and killed himself.”
“So no expensive divorce?”
“No. And best of all, Benji recovered. The vet who’d operated on him fell in love with him and looked after him for me. And he visited me in prison and fell in love with me too. So it all worked out well in the end.”
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