Family demands Dominic Raab blocks release of wife-killer

The grieving family of Joanna Simpson say they are confident her estranged husband will be kept behind bars for killing her. They feared former British Airways pilot Robert Brown would be freed from prison in November.

But their hopes were raised after Justice Secretary Dominic Raab agreed to meet and discuss their plea to block his automatic release.

Spurned aviator Brown bludgeoned Joanna, 46, to death with a claw hammer in Ascot, Berkshire, in 2010, while their two young children were at home. He then wrapped her body in a plastic sheet and dumped it in a ­previously dug grave in woodland
in Windsor Great Park.

Mrs Simpson had filed for divorce after suffering years of abuse, ­harassment and intimidation at the hands of Brown and the pair were in a legal battle over their finances.

He was acquitted of murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was jailed for 26 years.

He is set for release in November, sparking fear in Mrs Simpson’s family.

A Joanna Simpson Foundation spokesman: “We are very pleased the Justice Secretary has agreed to meet Joanna’s family so they can explain what they feel has gone so wrong in this case.

“We are confident when Mr Raab is presented with all the facts he will agree with us that all action needs to be taken to prevent the release of Robert Brown.”

Tomorrow, supporters and family, including Joanna’s mother Diana Parkes, will urge Mr Raab to use his powers to block Brown’s release.

They are due to talk to former Solicitor General Sir Robert Buckland, the ex-Home Secretary Priti Patel and Carrie Johnson, the wife of ­former PM Boris, at a rally.

In 2018, the black cab rapist John Worboys was cleared for release by the Parole Board.

But after a public backlash, the High Court ordered a “fresh determination”, which found the predator – convicted of attacks on 12 women – was “not suitable for release”.

The decision to keep him inside was made only after a ­challenge led by Mrs Johnson, who waived her ­anonymity to reveal she had been drugged by Worboys.

Mrs Parkes, 83, said it would be “absolutely nonsensical” to free Brown. She added: “Who is going to monitor him for 13 years of his licence? I have no faith in the probation service being able to do this. Our family is very fearful. I fear for women he might come into contact with.”

Mr Raab said: “My job is always to put victims first, so, of course, I will meet Mrs Parkes. With the powers I have got, I would look at this very rigorously.”

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