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BA killer Robert Brown from new ITV documentary loses bid for freedom

BA killer Robert Brown from new ITV documentary loses bid for freedom

The case has been explored in ITV's The British Airways Killers

A British Airways pilot who killed his wife in their family home while their children were out in the garden has lost his bid for freedom after the victim's family challenged the parole decision.

The former BA captain killed his wife Joanna Simpson with a claw hammer more than 13 years ago in their family home in Ascot.

In 2010, Brown killed his wife on Halloween night as his two children hid in the playroom.

Brown then took the 46-year-old’s body and put her in a makeshift coffin in a park in Windsor.

The horrifying case has now been documented in ITV's The British Airways Killer.

After killing his wife on Halloween, Brown called police the next morning to report a domestic issue.

When he handed himself in, he refused to help investigators with their missing persons investigation, despite having bludgeoned Simpson to death.

Eventually he confessed that he had killed her and told the police where to find the body.

Brown avoided a murder conviction though, and pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility, citing that he suffered from a stress-related 'adjustment disorder'.


A jury acquitted Brown of murder in 2011, but he was still jailed after he admitted manslaughter through grounds of diminished responsibility.

He was sentenced to 24 years for manslaughter, with another two years for obstructing a coroner in the execution of their duty.

The former airline captain was then set to be released halfway through his 26-year sentence in November last year, if it weren't for Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, who blocked his automatic release and referred his case to the Parole Board.

This comes after Brown brought a High Court challenge against a Government move to block his automatic release from prison earlier this month.

His lawyers argued at a hearing in London that Justice Secretary Alex Chalk’s referral was unlawful, while the Government says his legal action should be dismissed.

Although he admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, a psychiatric report said Brown suffered from an 'adjustment disorder'.

Aged 47 at sentencing, Brown believed he was 'stitched up' by a prenuptial agreement and was affected by stress linked to his divorce, a judge was told.

PA/Police Handout

Brown’s lawyers argue that the Parole Board referral was 'an obvious attempt to seek to reverse engineer justification for a decision that was in reality prompted and obtained through conscious or unconscious political bias'.

His legal team said the risk posed by Brown had not increased and that he had been 'subjected to a high-profile campaign through the media and with politicians that has sought to block his release'.

However, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has rejected his allegations, as lawyers for the department say Mr Chalk believed Brown 'would pose a significant risk of serious harm to the public if released on licence', adding that the offender had 'persistently refused to engage in the rehabilitative elements of his sentence'.

Featured Image Credit: ITV Handout

Topics: Crime, UK News, Documentaries