'We're all terrified' - Mother's fears over daughter's killer as documentary reveals chilling CCTV

  • Robert Brown is interviewed by police about his wife's disappearance. (Video courtesy of Good Morning Britain)

Chilling unseen footage of killer Robert Brown being interviewed by police after he bludgeoned his new wife, Joanna Simpson, to death will be shown in an ITV documentary tonight.

The former British Airways pilot killed his wealthy heiress wife with a hammer at their home in Winkfield near Ascot in 2010 while their two children were in a nearby room.

He then buried Joanna's body in a makeshift coffin in Windsor Great Park.

Tonight the first of a two-part documentary will reveal unseen police interview tapes and track the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit's complex investigation into Joanna's death.

Joanna's friends and family will also paint a vivid picture of the crime and its aftermath.

Joanna Simpson was attacked with a hammer by her husband Robert Brown. Credit: ITV Meridian

Robert Brown was cleared of murder, having admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

After serving 13 years of a 26-year sentence, Robert Brown was due to be freed from prison, in November.

But using new powers, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk blocked the move, and the Ministry of Justice says the Parole Board will make its decision in due course.

But Diana Parkes, Joanna's mother, says he shouldn't be released.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning (Monday 26 February) ahead of the first episode, Ms Parkes said she fears what will happen to her family: "I've said I hope he comes to kill me first so that all my family, and in fact women in general will be safe, because he's a psychopath in my opinion.

"And unfortunately, when he took a knife to my daughter in 2007, he told her that he'd hated our family for the eight years they were married.

"I'm going to be 85 in May, and I've lived my life and my family, they're fearful.

"My granddaughter, my grandson, my son, his family, we're all terrified, and if he killed me, he would obviously be sent to prison, I would think, for a whole lifetime, really."

  • Joanna Simpson's mother Diana Parkes told Good Morning Britain's Susanna Reid Brown should never be released from prison

"We fear his release because he's dangerous, and it certainly wasn't manslaughter," Ms Parkes told Susanna Reid.

"It was premeditated all the way through. He dug the hole where he put the garden box many months before, and it was so carefully planned."

Robert Brown was jailed for 26 years for manslaughter in 2011. Credit: ITV Meridian

Asked why she thought the jury was convinced that it wasn't murder, but manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility Ms Parkes said: "I fear that the chilling clip of my granddaughter speaking to the police the day after her mother disappeared was not shown in court.

"Had that been shown in court, I can tell you it would have been a different verdict.

"It showed my granddaughter Katie being interviewed by the police, and I never really wanted to see it again after listening to it."

  • The documentary will cover the whole investigation from the first phone call by Brown to police.

Joanna Simpson was brought up on the Isle of Man, after completing her degree at Bath University.

She lived in the leafy suburbs of Winkfield in Ascot, but behind closed doors she was the victim of domestic abuse through coercive control, isolation and intimidation at the hands of Robert Brown.

It led to the start of acrimonious divorce proceedings.

Then when the mother-of-two disappeared from their house in Winkfield near Ascot on in October 2010, Brown called police the next morning to report a domestic issue. But when he handed himself in, he refused to help police with their missing persons investigation, despite having brutally bludgeoned her to death with her children listening in their playroom.

Eventually he confessed that he had killed her and told the police where to find the body. Tragically she was killed just one week before the finalisation of their divorce on Halloween 2010 at the age of 46.

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The first episode of the documentary goes inside the complex investigation by Thames Valley Major Crime Unit.

It covers the whole investigation from the first phone call by Brown to police, to the gathering of evidence by officers.

Family members and friends recount their memories of Joanna and the couple's relationship.

The first episode will be aired on Monday 26 February on ITV1 at 9pm.

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