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Thursday 21 September 2017

I saw dad put mum's body into boot, girl (9) tells judge

Katie Hodge in London

THE daughter of a millionairess killed by her husband watched her father bundle her mother's body into the family car, a court heard yesterday.

The nine-year-old also said that she overheard her parents "hitting each other".

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that she observed the scene with her 11-year-old brother from the playroom window of their mother's sprawling mock-Tudor home.

She later told police how the pair had heard "banging" as British Airways pilot Robert Brown bludgeoned 46-year-old Joanna to death.

The attack on October 31 last year took place following lengthy rows over divorce proceedings and a contested prenuptial agreement, which Brown allegedly believed to be a "stitch-up".

In a statement given to police a day after the killing, the 47-year-old's daughter recalled being dropped at Tun Cottage in Ascot, Berkshire, before a violent row erupted between her parents.

Brown sat in the dock cradling his head in his hands as his daughter's interview was read to a jury at Reading Crown Court.

Fight

Asked what had happened after she and her brother arrived at her mother's home, the little girl told the investigating officers: "They got into a fight and they were hitting each other."

Her interviewer asked: "Tell me about the fight -- I know it's hard. . ."

The girl replied: "Dad put mum in the car because he, she, he hurt her."

When asked what she had overheard prior to this, she replied: "Just banging."

While the siblings had initially peered out of the window of their playroom, which looked on to the drive, they later moved into a smaller room from where they had a view of the back of the silver Volvo 4x4.

Asked where her mother had been placed in the vehicle, she replied: "I think it was the boot, I don't know, I can't remember."

She told police how she and her brother had later climbed back into the car's back seat, while their father drove them to his own rented home, about five minutes away. He is then alleged to have taken Mrs Brown's body to a prepared grave in Windsor Great Park, where he buried her.

Brown, of North Street, Winkfield, Berkshire, admits killing his wife but denies murder and obstructing a coroner from holding an inquest.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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