THE woman accused of murdering her partner in Burgh le Marsh earlier this year has dramatically pleaded guilty - just two days into a four week trial.
Julie Dixon originally denied that she was a killer who murdered her businessman partner David Twigg, 46, claiming that he died in a joint suicide pact.
Dixon said that she chickened out after starting the fire which was intended to kill both of them.
But on the second day of her trial at Lincoln Crown Court she changed her stance.
The 43-year-old was held up by a female security officer and broke down in tears as she pleaded guilty to murder when the charge was put to her again.
Judge Michael Heath adjourned the hearing to give time for the defence team to prepare a basis of plea. Dixon was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on a later date.
A jury was told that the couple were outwardly in a happy relationship having been together for 15 years but Dixon managed to conceal the chaotic financial state that had engulfed Mr Twigg’s joinery business.
She hid mail from him and even managed to hide from him the fact that he was made bankrupt owing £17,500 in taxes.
Dixon had become unhappy and told friends she wanted to leave her 6ft 2 inches, 19 stone partner, whom she referred to by the nickname of “Batman”.
Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, said that Mr Twigg, who knew nothing of the financial mess he was in, spent his final hours with Dixon gardening and putting up fencing at the couple’s home in Burgh le Marsh.
But as they were putting their tools away Dixon locked him in a store room in his adjoining workshop and then poured petrol onto the concrete floor and set it alight.
Although the fire was short-lived it generated a large amount of smoke which spread into the locked store room. Mr Twigg was overcome by the smoke and fumes from the petrol.
Dixon raised the alarm and when fire fighters smashed their way into the store room they found Mr Twigg on his knees in a “prayer-type position” slumped forward. His death was as a result of smoke inhalation.
Dixon spent the next three months claiming the blaze was started by intruders who surprised the couple in the workshop.
But after police began to unravel her lies she was arrested for murder. It was only then that she came up with the story of a suicide pact. Even then she expressed her continuing love for her partner.
Mr Twigg, described as popular and extremely hard working, first met Dixon in the late 1990s when she was undergoing a divorce and they quickly moved in together.
Mr Aspden said “To the outside world David Twigg and Julie Dixon appeared to be a happy and contented couple who got on well.
“However the truth may not be so rosy and straight-forward.
“There is evidence that in recent times Julie Dixon had become dissatisfied with her relationship with David Twigg and had become somewhat depressed.
“She mentioned to close friends that she was thinking of leaving him and starting afresh.
“She had looked on the internet at websites that dealt with suicide. David Twigg does not seem to have realised how unhappy and dissatisfied his partner was becoming. The deterioration coincided with the onset of financial difficulties.”
Mr Aspden said that Dixon, who dealt with the paperwork for Mr Twigg’s bespoke joinery business, failed to pay invoices and the firm developed chronic cash flow problems.
“She managed to conceal the full extent of it from him. She was forced to tell a number of lies to prevent the truth coming out.”
Despite the financial difficulties the firm began sponsoring a motor-racing team with the couple flying out to the USA to watch the team in action.
Mr Aspden said: “David Twigg did not want to die that day. This was not a suicide pact. It was murder.
“It was only after she was arrested and realised the game was up that she abandoned the intruder story and came up for the first time with the story that she killed David Twigg in pursuance of a suicide pact.”
Dixon, of Station Yard, Burgh le Marsh, having previously denied the murder of David Twigg on 13 March this year now admits the charge.