The mother of a woman murdered by her husband has said that her family fears the prospect of her release and is asking the Justice Secretary to look into the case.

British Airways captain Robert Brown bludgeoned his wife Joanna, 46, to death with a hammer in their family home in October 2010, while their two young children hid in a game room.

He dumped her body in a makeshift coffin at Windsor Great Park.

Brown, who believed he had been “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 by reason of diminished responsibility.

Joanna Brown Murder
Robert Brown admitted manslaughter (Thames Valley Police/PA)

Brown, formerly of North Street, Winkfield, Berkshire, was sentenced to 24 years for manslaughter and a further two years for one count of obstructing a coroner in the performance of his duty.

Joanna’s mother, Diana Parkes, 83, is concerned about Brown’s release from prison, which she says is expected in November this year.

“Our family is very fearful. Not just our family, but also my daughter’s friends and indeed the general public. I fear for the women he might come into contact with,” he told the PA news agency.

Ms Parkes wants to speak to Attorney General Dominic Raab, saying: “I would ask him to look at our case very carefully and see how utterly absurd it is for Brown to be released mid-sentence when the Service Probation is so short-staffed.

Police search for 'murdered' woman
Police on High Standing Hill, outside Windsor, where officers searched for the body of Joanna Simpson (PA)

“And I ask who is going to monitor him during 13 years of his license?

“I really don’t have faith that the Probation Service can do this.”

The Joanna Simpson Foundation is asking people to send a letter to their MP asking that Brown’s release be stopped.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “This was a heinous crime and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Joanna Simpson.

“The Deputy Prime Minister will do everything in his power to keep the most dangerous criminals behind bars and is committed to giving this case his closest personal attention.”

The Joanna Simpson Foundation is holding an event in Westminster this week to launch its campaign and urge 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.


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