Jim Perrin had planned to take over our sister’s house. Within months of their meeting he persuaded her that he should live with her — ‘coerced’ is certainly not too strong when one considers his letter of August 18th 2003, ref. our post Jim Perrin – A Cuckoo in the Nest? — and whilst we know that in the first months she was very much under his influence yet the pressure he exerted was not only intense but dishonourable. She was given little time to think before he put his plan into action; he knew that she was still sharing the house with her long-term partner — they had been there for some sixteen years — but for his plan to succeed he needed to ensure the departure, the ‘eviction’ of this substantial impediment.
Although Jim Perrin’s overwhelming necessity was to ‘disappear’ and to escape the recent attentions of the Child Support Agency there was the additional matter of his precarious personal resources. After juggling his mortgage and (we saw the evidence) several overdrafts, credit cards and loan companies, for him to live in our sister’s house would be the perfect solution to many of these difficulties. Financially speaking he was on very thin ice indeed: never having sufficient funds to pay off Peter after robbing Paul.
He had pressed her (oh, how he had pressed her) to marry him legally — this , we thought at the time, was because he felt he would then have entitlement to her property. Jac used to tell her ‘Welsh’ sister of his latest attempts: of how he repeatedly asked her to marry him saying that he would not believe she loved him if she refused — this was nothing more or less than emotional blackmail — and that his happiness would only be complete if she consented. But she did not want to marry him, agreeing with her sister’s sentiment, (so frequently expressed during their night-time conversations that it had become an on-going joke between them), which was that in this relationship ‘a ring on your finger would be a ring through your nose!’ Instinctively Jac knew this — which is why she refused to countenance the possibility and consistently refused to give in to his blandishments.
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One of his ploys — and a strangely sad coincidence in view of her later, but too early, death, was to say that ‘if anything should happen to her [Jac, apparently, being in perfect health at the time] were they not married he would have no security, no “rights”, and could be homeless’, and when she told her sister this they discussed the future position of her children — ‘should it happen’… After considering most seriously all that Jim Perrin had said — and, indeed, his behaviour — and of course thinking of her children first, she concluded that not only were they to be given priority but that, in any event and as she had so often said before, she had never even wanted to be married to him. And at the end of their conversations Jac would say ‘I know, I know… a ring on my finger would be a ring through my nose’. It is almost unbearably sad to think of it now, yet so often they finished by laughing with each other as they repeated the line together.
And he wanted, he suggested, they should have a ‘public’ ceremony where they ‘exchanged rings’ — as Jac refused marriage, ref. our post Jim Perrin Plans His Next Move — because he wanted to ‘pin her down’, and was cannily thinking he could still acquire some moral title to her property even though she had rejected his proposal: even though he of knew of her absolute aversion either to legal marriage or public declaration. (And here it is interesting to relate how when, oh sad irony, Jac did die, unforeseeably soon, Jim Perrin tried to prevail upon her children by telling them it had been their mother’s last wish that he should take over the tenancy in his own name. It was of course a lie, and his ill-conceived plan to take over her house failed…)