Family fearful over ‘nonsensical’ prison release of pilot who killed his wife
The mother of a woman killed by her husband has said her family is fearful about the prospect of his release, and is calling on the Justice Secretary to look at the case.
British Airways captain Robert Brown bludgeoned his 46-year-old wife Joanna to death with a claw hammer in their family home in October 2010 as their two young children cowered in a playroom.
He dumped her body in a makeshift coffin in Windsor Great Park.
Brown, who believed he was “stitched up” by a prenuptial agreement, was acquitted of murder by a jury at Reading Crown Court in May 2011.
He had previously admitted manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility.
Brown, formerly of North Street, Winkfield, Berkshire, was sentenced to 24 years for manslaughter and a further two years for an offence of obstructing a coroner in the execution of his duty.
Joanna’s mother Diana Parkes, 83, is concerned about Brown’s release from prison, which she says is expected to take place in November this year.
“Our family is very fearful. Not only our family, but my daughter’s friends and indeed the public at large. I fear for women that he might come into contact with,” she told the PA news agency.
Ms Parkes wants to talk to Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, and said: “I would ask him to check our case very carefully and see how absolutely nonsensical it is that Brown is bring released halfway through his sentence when the Probation Service is so understaffed.
“And I ask who is going to monitor him for 13 years of his licence?
“I really have no faith in the Probation Service being able to do this.”
The Joanna Simpson Foundation is calling on people to send a letter to their MP asking for Brown’s release to be stopped.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “This was an appalling crime and our thoughts remain with Joanna Simpson’s family and friends.
“The Deputy Prime Minister will do everything in his power to keep the most dangerous offenders behind bars and has pledged to give this case his closest personal attention.”
The Joanna Simpson Foundation is holding an event in Westminster this week to launch its campaign and urge Mr Raab to use his powers to help prevent Brown’s release.
Speakers are expected to include Ms Parkes, Robert Buckland, Priti Patel, Carrie Johnson and Joanna’s friend Hetti Barkworth-Nanton.