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Cop 'killed and dissolved in bath of acid after hooking up with man for “sleazy sex”

Gordon Semple
Gordon Semple

A Breaking Bad-obsessed sado-masochist strangled a police officer, then copied a plot from the hit American drama by dissolving his body in an acid bath, a court has heard.

Pc Gordon Semple, 59, was on duty when he arranged to meet his alleged killer, Stefano Brizzi, via Grindr for "hot, dirty, sleazy" sex on the afternoon of April 1.

The 50-year-old Italian was allegedly in the middle of throttling him when he turned away another man who had arrived for a drug-fuelled sex party.

Over the next few days, neighbours on the Peabody Estate in south London noticed a "revolting smell" coming from Brizzi's flat.

When one complained, Brizzi put it down to cooking for a friend, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.

By April 7, a resident alerted police, who visited the flat and found Brizzi wearing only sunglasses and underpants.

They also found a bath full of acid with "globules of flesh" floating in it, the court heard.

Brizzi allegedly told an officer: "I've tried to dissolve the body ... I've killed a police officer. I killed him last week. I met him on Grindr and I killed him. Satan told me to."

However, jurors were told that the defendant was not claiming a psychiatric defence and now says Pc Semple died accidentally during a "sex game gone wrong".

Opening the trial, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors the case called for "broad minds and strong stomachs".

Pc Semple had been in a relationship but was "sexually promiscuous" and used Grindr for "extreme" encounters of "domination, bondage and much else besides", he said.

On the day of the killing, Pc Semple and Brizzi had invited more men on Grindr to join them for a sex party with drugs available but only one man - referred to as CD - turned up, jurors were told.

Mr Aylett told jurors: "When CD pressed the entry buzzer, someone who can only have been the defendant replied over the intercom 'We are having a situation here. Someone fell ill but we're taking care of it. So our party is cancelled'. CD turned around and went home."

The prosecutor told jurors that CD must have arrived at the very point Pc Semple was meeting his death inside the flat.

Brizzi later told police that Pc Semple had invited a number of people to the flat "but they didn't arrive and, when one did arrive, I was right in the middle of strangling Gordon and I said to - he was right there at the door - and I said to him 'Look, this is not the right time now, people are falling ill and it's a mess'."

After Pc Semple's partner failed to get hold of him on his mobile phone, he reported him missing.

The court heard that Brizzi had been a user of crystal meth - referred to as Nutella - which had cost him his job at financial giant Morgan Stanley.

He allegedly told a support group that he believed in the Devil, and liked "satanic rituals" which involved having sex over the sign of the pentagon.

He liked to boast of his sexual exploits and told one meeting he had once tied a man up, treated him like a dog and made him go into a cage, jurors heard.

Brizzi was said to be "obsessed" with the American show Breaking Bad, jurors were told.

Mr Aylett said the main character, chemistry teacher Walter White, produced crystal meth and, after poisoning a rival, dissolved the body in acid.

Brizzi denies murder but has admitted obstructing a coroner by dismembering and disposing of the body.