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Monday, 12 December 2016
Man who dismembered body of PC Gordon Semple jailed for life
Stefano Brizzi , believed to have tried to eat his victim before dissolving him in acid, is sentenced to a minimum of 24 years.
A man who throttled a PC during a bondage session and then tried to dispose of his body in an acid bath has been jailed for life.
Stefano Brizzi was told he will serve a minimum of 24 years in jail after he was found guilty last month of murdering PC Gordon Semple at his home in London.
Police believe Brizzi had not just tried to dissolve the body, but had attempted to cook it and even eat it.
Police investigating what happened to PC Semple believed a leg had been placed in a roasting tin in the oven and found traces of Mr Semple's DNA on grease in the cooker, in a blender and on a set of chopsticks.
Detectives also found pieces of the PC's flesh floating in chemicals in the bath.
The pair had met on gay dating app Grindr and the case, along with another, sparked fears for the safety of the users of online dating services.
The Old Bailey trial heard Brizzi had flushed some of the remains away and body matter was recovered in nearby drainpipes.
The trial also heard that Brizzi, a fan of the series Breaking Bad, was inspired by an episode of the show to dissolve the body in acid.
Police were called to investigate after neighbours complained of a "revolting smell" in Brizzi's flat.
Italian-born Brizzi claimed the police officer had "begged" him to be tied up and choked. He told the jury his death had been an accident, and that Mr Semple had slipped and snapped his neck.
But a pathologist said a tiny fracture in a bone in the PC's neck indicated he had been strangled.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC told the crystal meth addict there were "terrible features" of the case and that Brizzi's craving for the drug had ruined his life.
He said: "Regret you express now for Mr Semple's death has to be seen against what you did over a number of days to his body."
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said an orthodontist believed Brizzi had eaten part of his victim's body because a bite mark on a discarded rib bone could be matched to the killer's teeth.
He asked for the judge to take it into consideration in the sentencing.
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, in mitigation, blamed Brizzi's addiction, saying her client had "absolutely no recollection" of what had happened.
He was "utterly horrified by it", the barrister added.
But after his arrest, his trial heard that Brizzi told police he had tried to dissolve the body of the policeman because "Satan told me to".
During the killing, Brizzi said he had told a man who turned up on his doorstep for a sex party organised on Grindr to go away.
Brizzi said: "I was right in the middle of strangling Gordon and I said to him 'Look, this is not the right time now, people are falling ill and it's a mess'."
During his evidence to the court, Brizzi, who has HIV, told jurors that PC Semple died in a "state of erotic bliss".
The policeman's older brother, Ronald Semple, said his sibling had been regarded as a "Dixon of Dock Green character".
PC Semple was a "caring and gentle person" and "much loved" by his family, who were left devastated with the news of his murder, the court was told.