This is the chilling moment a British Airways pilot refused to answer questions about his wife’s whereabouts after he killed her.
The video shows Robert Brown calmly responding “no comment” when interviewed by police who were desperately trying to find Joanna Simpson after she disappeared in October 2010.
Footage shows the killer obstructing police after initially telling a 999 call operator that someone had been injured during an incident at the couple’s Ascot home on Halloween.
It comes as the officer who interviewed Brown reveals how she was “bewildered” by his behavior and what he believes was his attempt to control the situation he found himself in after beating his wife to death.
The footage is released as part of The British Airways Killer, a documentary airing on ITV1 and ITVX tonight about the brutal murder of Joanna following a bitter divorce.
Robert Brown responded “no comment” when police interviewed him about what had happened to his wife.
In the interview, the killer is repeatedly asked what happened to Joanna Simpson, only to respond “no comment” each time.
Joanna Simpson was murdered by Robert Brown at her Ascot home in autumn 2010 after the couple’s bitter divorce.
Brown, who bludgeoned Joanna to death in her home, served 13 years of a 26-year sentence for her murder and recently took legal action after Attorney General Alex Chalk blocked his automatic early release.
In the episode, the filmmakers reveal the content of Brown’s first interview with police, in which he frustrates them by not answering their questions.
In the interview you can see Detective Melanie Ward investigating the circumstances that led Brown to end up at the police station:
She says: ‘Joanna is missing. She was found blood at her home in Tun Cottage. Robert, tell us everything you know about Joanna’s whereabouts.
He doesn’t get very far with this line of questioning, however, as the killer calmly responds, “No comment.”
DC Ward questions his reason for being here and says: “But you still want to talk to the police and come to the station, is that correct?”
But once again, this only elicits a “no comment” response from Brown.
Speaking to the filmmakers, DC Ward said he had gone to the interview with the British Airways pilot hoping to get answers.
She said: “In my head at the time, because he had handed himself in to speak to the police, I was thinking something had happened, that I had done something to him and he was going to come and tell us where he was.”
“It was a regret: ‘Oh my God, I’ve done this, this happened.’ Please help us, please help me, please help Jo.”
Detective Melanie Ward (pictured) said she was “shocked” by the killers’ behavior in interview.
Brown (pictured by police) was jailed for 26 years after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Joanna (pictured with her two children) told a friend that Brown had held a knife to her chest during their relationship.
“The first thing out of his mouth was ‘no comment’ and I remember being very taken aback.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Brown was played recordings of the 999 call he made before going to the police station.
When the call handler asked him if the incident reported to him had “occurred recently”, to which he replied “yes, yes, last night”.
When the operator asks him if he and Joanna are okay and if anyone has been hurt, he is heard saying, “Well… well, one person is [hurt].
In his police interview, DC Ward asks “who was hurt”, to which Brown responds “no comment”.
When the call operator asked, ‘Has that person sought medical attention?’ They need it?’ he responds by saying ‘Er, no.’
When the police ask him what he meant by that, he once again answers “no comment.”
Probing further, DC Ward asks, “Was that because the person who was injured doesn’t need medical attention?” Why aren’t they seriously injured?
This prompts him to say ‘no comment’ again, prompting the detective to ask ‘or is it because the person doesn’t need medical attention because they’re dead?’ only to receive another ‘no comment’ from the killer.
DC Ward says in an interview conducted for the documentary: ‘What “no comment” tells me is control. It’s easy to hide behind that, but I don’t think Robert hid behind any comments, I think yes, that was the controlling element of him.
He would eventually confess to killing her and dumping her body in Windsor Great Park.
Joanna (pictured) was initially reported missing from her home the morning after Halloween in 2010, and Brown eventually led police to the location where he had dumped her body.
The documentary also includes interviews with Joanna’s mother, Diana Parkes, and her friend Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, who talk about the moment they realized Brown was not what he seemed.
It also shows bittersweet footage from the couple’s wedding, during which Brown said he “can’t help but be picky,” while his father-in-law says Joanna’s killer is a “very lucky man.”
Brown would later admit to involuntary manslaughter, but a jury acquitted him of murder after claiming he suffered from adjustment disorder caused by his divorce.
He was sentenced to 26 years in prison and was eligible for automatic release after half that time, despite expressing no remorse for his actions.
Attorney General Alex Chalk blocked the former captain’s release from prison last year, prompting legal action by Brown, who claimed it was illegal.
Earlier this month, Ministry of Justice lawyers said Chalk had referred the case to the Parole Board over “reasonable” fears that Brown might re-offend.
They included fears he might commit murder, manslaughter or threaten to kill, the High Court heard.
Barrister Iain Steele, representing the Justice Secretary, said: “The Secretary of State may decide not to release a prisoner on license if he has reason to believe they will be dangerous if released.”
He added: ‘His [Brown’s] the risk is not manageable… We are dealing with a very dangerous individual.”
Since being jailed in 2011, he has refused to co-operate with prison psychiatrists and psychologists, the High Court heard, with officials warning of his “arrogance and narcissism”.
Brown’s lawyers said Chalk’s decision to block his release was illegal and appeared to have been politically motivated, given the campaign to keep him behind bars.
A ruling is expected later this year.
- The British Airways Killer airs on ITV1 and ITVX at 9pm on Monday 26 February.