Ascot woman Joanna Brown 'looked like crash victim'

Joanna Brown
Image caption Mrs Brown was allegedly buried in a prepared grave

A frenzied hammer attack on a millionairess by her estranged husband left her looking like a "car crash victim", a jury has heard.

Robert Brown allegedly bludgeoned wife Joanna, 46, to death at their marital home in Ascot, Berkshire, over a pre-nuptial agreement.

Reading Crown Court also heard graphic details of 40 injuries she had suffered with a claw hammer.

Brown, 47, of Winkfield, admits killing his wife but denies murder.

He also denies obstructing a coroner from holding an inquest.

Mrs Brown's body was found buried on the Queen's Windsor Estate on 5 November 2010, four days after she was reported missing.

'Secluded corner'

Pathologist Ashley Fegan-Earl told the court the mother-of-two sustained injuries to her hands and arms as she defended herself against the attack and suffered fractures only usually seen in road accidents.

The court heard earlier how British Airways pilot Mr Brown had dug a grave in a secluded corner of the site weeks before the murder on 31 October last year.

On the night of the attack, after dropping their two children at his new girlfriend's house, he allegedly dragged the body to the site and dumped it in a coffin-sized plastic garden crate modified to make it waterproof.

Mr Brown put his hands over his eyes as the court was shown the box where Mrs Brown, an upmarket guest house owner originally from the Isle of Man, was found wrapped in a bin bag and zipped inside a black surfboard bag.

Inside the crate with the body, police found two pairs of latex gloves, blood-stained duct tape, cable ties and a mallet.

Forensic archaeologist Professor John Hunter said judging by the root growth in the 4ft-deep (1.2m) hole and the slumping of the sides, it would have been dug "at least a few weeks" before Mrs Brown's body was dumped.

The jury was sent home until Monday.

The trial continues.

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