DAILY MAIL COMMENT: True justice means putting victims first

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: True justice means putting victims first

There are some crimes so callous that it is an affront to justice that the perpetrator should serve as little as half their sentence before being freed on parole.

Robert Brown, a ruthless monster who slaughtered his estranged wife, belongs firmly in that category.

Weeks before the killing, he dug her grave in remote woodland. The pilot later bludgeoned her to death with a claw hammer within earshot of their two young children.

At his trial, he was cleared of murder and pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility. 

The judge, however, was in no doubt Brown intended to kill, sentencing him to 26 years’ imprisonment accordingly. Now, after serving just 13, he could automatically walk free in November.

Airline pilot Robert Brown battered his estranged wife Joanna Simpson to death with a claw hammer within earshot of their two young children. Pictured: Joanna Simpson with her children Katie and Alex

READ MORE: Family of Joanna Simpson: ‘Don’t let killer husband go free’



The prospect is appalling. So today, the Mail joins Joanna Simpson’s devastated mother, Diana Parkes, in her plea to keep the remorseless killer behind bars.

She is urging Justice Secretary Dominic Raab to use new powers to compel the Parole Board to consider the case – and block Brown’s release if he is still a threat.

He has, it is understood, already been classed as posing a very high risk of harm to the public. If that’s the case, is it really sensible to let him go?

On top of that, the Probation Service – which supervises offenders in the community – was last month found seriously wanting after two violent criminals went on to kill.

If officials are struggling to cope, it would surely be reckless to add such a dangerous individual as Brown to their workload.

Given the Parole Board’s worryingly frequent blunders when releasing the worst offenders, Mr Raab is also right to consider seeking a ministerial veto of its decisions.

Rehabilitation and redemption must, of course, be at the heart of the justice system. But it is high time victims’ rights were placed ahead of those of the criminals.

United with Ukraine

The respect and admiration Britain feels for Ukraine’s magnificent, heroic people could not have been clearer yesterday.

A year after Russia’s invasion, we paused in solidarity with those fighting for their homeland and the values of liberty.

King Charles captured the poignant mood perfectly, praising Ukraine’s ‘remarkable courage and resistance’. ‘We stand united,’ he said. And we do.

Members of the Ukrainian community hold a large flag as they take part in a rally outside the Russian Embassy in London to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

As long as Russian barbarians continue to brutalise their homeland, bringing death and destruction, we must continue to support Ukraine with weapons, training and financial aid. 

Putin must not be allowed to succeed.

Motorists in a hole

Britain’s roads are a national disgrace, blighted by potholes – some so large they could be issued with their own postcode.

This problem may seem small beer for a Government tackling the cost of living and Putin, but motorists face 1,400 breakdowns a day due to craters in carriageways.

The resulting repairs to damaged vehicles cost hard-pressed drivers an eye-watering £130million a year.

This is scandalous. Isn’t it time the Treasury put the billions it claws from motorists towards repairing our roads?

Building up trouble

The Tories should be deeply concerned that buying a home is now less affordable than at any time since the Victorian era.

For many, getting on the housing ladder is increasingly an unattainable dream. Yet the Conservatives, supposedly champions of property ownership, have repeatedly caved in to well-off Nimby activists and watered down building targets.

This may protect some votes, but it is dangerously short-sighted. Unless the party builds more houses, it will condemn itself to electoral extinction.

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