Dominic Raab to intervene in the release of killer Robert Brown

The Justice Secretary will review the proposed release of a man who battered his estranged wife to death with a claw hammer “within earshot” of their children. A Ministry of Justice source said Dominic Raab has agreed to use new powers to intervene in the automatic release of ex-airline pilot Robert Brown, due later this year.

It came after Mr Raab’s predecessor Sir Robert Buckland, ex-home secretary Priti Patel and Carrie Johnson, wife of Boris Johnson, put their weight behind a campaign launched by his victim’s mother to stop his release.

Her daughter Joanna Brown, 46, had filed for divorce to escape Brown’s abusive behaviour. He drove to her Ascot home before bludgeoning her at least 14 times.

He buried her body in a woodland grave he had already dug.

Brown, 58, was acquitted of murder by a jury at Reading Crown Court in 2011 after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He was jailed for 26 years, meaning he will be ­eligible for automatic release after serving 13 years later this year.

Joanna’s mother Diana Parkes, 84, said her family is terrified at the prospect of his release. “All women are in danger from this man. We must take action to stop another dangerous killer walking our streets.

“Mr Raab has the power to review this case and help prevent the release of Brown in November.

“It is surely so clear this would be the right thing to do. I hope and pray he will see sense and help me and my family.”

Mrs Parkes set up The Joanna Simpson Foundation in the wake of her daughter’s death. It has written to Mr Raab.

A Ministry of Justice source said Mr Raab has replied “and agreed to a meeting and said he will review the case but nearer to the time of the release”.

An MoJ spokeswoman said: “Mr Raab will do everything in his power to keep the most dangerous offenders behind bars.”

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