Penelope Davis
Penelope Davis was found dead in a field where she tended her horsesPolice handout

A man has been jailed for life for murdering a mother-of-five in the New Forest while she tended her horses in what has been described as "a savage pre-planned execution".

Pennie Davis, 47, was stabbed 14 times by Justin Robertson, 36, in a field at Leygreen Farm near Beaulieu.

Winchester Crown Court heard Robertson, of no fixed address, was paid by Benjamin Carr, 22, to "silence" his ex stepmother after he feared she would go to police about his alleged sexual assaults when he was 14.

Carr, from Southampton, was jailed for a minimum of 30 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder. Samantha Maclean, 28, of Beech Crescent, Hythe, was found not guilty of a similar charge.

Robertson's girlfriend, Lian Doyle, 24, also of Beech Crescent, Hythe, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Davis sent a message to the fiancée of Carr's father Timothy on Facebook about her allegations against Carr that she made 10 years ago. Carr then conspired with Robertson to kill her in fear she might return to the police over the alleged historical abuse, the court heard.

A statement released by the family read: "The people responsible for our mum's brutal murder have been convicted but we cannot celebrate. It is not them, but us Pennie's family, who have been given the real life sentence. The life of someone precious to us as a mother, daughter, wife and sister has gone and can't be replaced."

Detective superintendent Paul Barton, of Hampshire Police said: "Pennie was a loving mother who doted on all her children and was just starting a new chapter in her life with husband Pete.

"Her death brought together the local community and I would like to thank everyone who supported our investigation and came forward with information."

John Montague, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This is a tragic case where a mother-of-five who had just remarried died from a savage pre-planned execution.

"Her husband, Peter, made the terrible discovery when he found her dead near the horses that she loved so much. Our thoughts are with him, Mrs Davis' children and extended family."