Berkshire Pilot Loses Wife Killing Appeal

A Berkshire pilot who killed his estranged millionairess wife and buried her body in a pre-prepared grave lost an appeal against his 26-year sentence today.

Robert Brown, 47, who believed he was "stitched up'' by a prenuptial agreement, was present in the dock of the Court of Appeal in London to hear the decision by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting with two other judges.

They heard argument on his behalf that his sentence was "too high'', but also from the prosecution that it was "plainly'' not "manifestly excessive''.

Brown bludgeoned 46-year-old Joanna to death with a claw hammer in their sprawling family home in Berkshire in October last year.

He bundled her body into the boot of his car and later dumped it in a makeshift coffin in Windsor Great Park.

Brown, of North Street, Winkfield, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court in May.

A jury acquitted him of murder. He had previously admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Jurors convicted him of obstructing a coroner from holding an inquest.

Sentencing Brown, Mr Justice Cooke told him: "You intended to kill, you intended to conceal the body and to hide the evidence of the killing.''.

After hearing submissions from Brown's lawyer and from the Crown in opposition to the appeal, Lord Judge announced: "We have reached our conclusion. Our conclusion is that this appeal will be dismissed.''

The court will give its reasons in writing at a date to be fixed.

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