A man who killed his wife could become the first person to have their release blocked by the Justice Secretary, according to a report in The Times.
Robert Brown, a former British Airways air captain, was sentenced to 26 years in prison after being found guilty of killing his estranged wife, Joanna Simpson, with a claw hammer in 2010.
Joanna grew up in the island and her mother, Diana Parkes, still lives here.
She brought up Joanna’s two children after she was killed.
Brown avoided a murder conviction and instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility.
During the trial, the jury accepted the defence case that the former British Airways pilot had suffered from ‘adjustment disorder’, a temporary mental illness he blamed for the attack.
The couple were going through an acrimonious divorce when he carried out the attack at the marital home in Ascot, Berkshire, within earshot of their children, aged nine and 10 at the time, playing in the TV room nearby.
Brown put her lifeless body in the boot of his car, pulled out the CCTV and telephone cables, told the children to get into the car and drove to his pregnant girlfriend’s home and left them with her.
He then dumped Joanna’s body in a grave he had spent months digging in Windsor Great Park.
Brown might now become the first dangerous prisoner to have his release blocked by the Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk, under controversial reforms that were brought in under the former Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab.
Mr Chalk told The Times that he might employ a ministerial veto that overrules the decision of the parole board or force Brown’s case to be brought before the parole board.
Speaking in March 2022, Mrs Parkes, from Sulby, said that she was worried that if released, Brown would return to the island.
She said: ‘We all believe this guy is a psychopath. He’s really, really dangerous.
‘We are frightened he will come here. My son James who lives in the island is also worried.
‘Brown and Jo used to come here, so he knows the island and our home.
‘He will blame everyone else but himself. He’s shown no remorse whatsoever.
‘He wants to tell the children why he killed their mother.
‘His children don’t want anything to do with him.’
Brown’s two children, Katie and Alex, have previously met with a victim liaison officer to discuss terms of licence upon Brown’s release from prison.
One of the options that was to be discussed was exclusion from the Isle of Man.
Mrs Parkes said: ‘If he was seen here, he would go straight back to jail.’
During a visit to Category C HMP High Down, in Surrey, Mr Chalk said he had met the mother of Joanna Simpson, Diana Parkes, alongside one of her friends, and that meeting the family and friends of the victim had reaffirmed his decision.
The minister said: ‘I will say to you what I said to them — that I was very affected by what I heard from them and I will do everything I properly can, within the law, to ensure that justice is done in their case.’
Brown has served 13 years of his original 26-year sentence but because he was convicted of manslaughter, rather than murder, he will not automatically face a parole hearing.
He is due to be released in November of this year.