A British Airways pilot who battered his wife to death wanted to crash a jumbo jet full of passengers and crew the day after the frenzied attack to 'make a statement'.
Robert Brown, who was due to command a flight from Heathrow to Lagos the day after his wife's death, told a jury that he contemplated crashing the jet killing himself and everyone else on board.
The 47-year-old also said he had considered completing the journey to the Nigerian city and then hanging himself in a hotel room.
Speaking from the witness stand during his trial for murdering estranged wife Joanna, he said: 'I didn't want to be another husband who kills his wife and then himself and nobody cares.'
However, just hours before he was due to start his flight shift, Brown called in sick to BA's flight operations unit, following a night of phone calls with his family - who were concerned something had happened to his wife.
He was arrested after his brother Kenneth contacted police and another pilot was called out to take the flight.
Speaking at Reading Crown Court, the Scotsman said he wanted people to know how much he had been 'harassed' by lawyers - and so by crashing the plane and causing an atrocity it would come out in a public inquiry.
He said: 'They (the lawyers) should be held to account. I thought something needs to be done. I thought I want to fly one last time and crash the aircraft. I wanted them to be held accountable.
'I thought if I got to work I could crash an aircraft, or fly to Lagos and crash it there or hang myself in the hotel room. I wanted to make a statement.'
Yesterday, Brown wept as he apologised to his wife's relatives for battering her to death in a vicious hammer attack, which he claims he cannot remember. He admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.
Slumped over in the witness stand, he held his head in his hands as he said an anguished ‘sorry’ to the family of the millionairess, who were watching from the public gallery.
He said he ‘lost it’ after his estranged wife made him feel like an idiot when they rowed as he dropped their son of nine and their 11-year-old daughter off at her house in Ascot, Berkshire. The children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been staying with him.
Mrs Brown, 46, died in the hammer attack while her son and daughter were in a next-door room.
Brown later buried her in a prepared grave in Windsor Great Park, part of the Queen's Crown Estate.
Brown claims the attack, during which he hit his wife at least 14 times with a claw hammer, causing 40 injuries, happened in the hallway of her £3million mansion after he had grown increasingly angry and frustrated over their bitter divorce proceedings, which had dragged on for three years.
He claims he was ‘stitched up’ by a prenuptial agreement, that Mrs Brown ‘deliberately concealed the extent of her wealth’ and that her lawyers were harassing him on an almost daily basis and had ‘destroyed’ his family.
Reliving the attack as he gave evidence at Reading Crown Court yesterday, Brown said he had awoken that day feeling that his troubles were ‘never going to an end’.
He claimed he had picked up the hammer from his shed on impulse and put it in a bag with the children’s homework before driving them to Mrs Brown's house.
Once there, he explained to her that their son had hurt his eye in an accident and needed some medication but when he went to look for it, it was not in the bag.
Brown told the jury: ‘She said you better go and get it. It was the way she said it, like you stupid idiot. It stopped me short. I turned round and walked away. That’s when I just lost it. I just burst, that’s it, I just burst. And I can’t remember what I did at that moment.
‘I blew and the next thing I remember I’m standing over Jo and she’s bleeding… I just don’t know what happened. That portion is a blank to me.’
He denied going there with the intention of injuring Mrs Brown. He then collapsed in tears and said to her mother Diana Parkes ‘I’m really sorry’, then to her brother James: ‘I’m sorry, I feel your pain.’
Deep sobbing could be heard from the public gallery, along with a cry of ‘shut up’ directed at Brown.
Brown said he ran into the kitchen to get a tea towel to try to stem the blood but it was ‘obvious Jo was severely injured’.
He carried her to his Volvo 4x4, put her in the boot and wrapped her in plastic sheeting rather than call an ambulance because there was ‘no logic, no rationale’, he said. ‘I just wanted to get the children away from there as soon as possible.’
Before leaving to drop his children off at his rented house in nearby Winkfield where his French girlfriend, Stephanie Bellemere, a BA stewardess, was staying, he went back inside to get his wife’s CCTV video recorder.
He claimed: ‘I was not thinking, I just wanted to get it. I was not covering my tracks.’
Brown said that in the car his son said ‘something about going to hospital’ and he turned to go there but then changed his mind, dropped the children off and telling Miss Bellemere only that there had been ‘an incident’. He then drove to Windsor Great Park.
He said he pulled into a garage there and looked at Mrs Brown. ‘I could not believe what I had done. I screamed and screamed,’ he said.
Brown told the court he then considered committing suicide by hanging himself or by crashing a plane. He flew 747s for BA at the time.
But he then decided he wanted her lawyers ‘held accountable’ for the way they had treated him and decided instead to put her body in a box that he had buried in the park almost two years earlier.
Keen runner Brown claimed he had buried the box to bury the sham of his marriage and that he found it ‘therapeutic’ to imagine he was throwing her solicitors’ letters in it whenever he ran past it.
Brown handed himself into police the next morning.
The trial continues.