A BOROUGH man has today appeared at the Old Bailey accused of strangling 59-year-old policeman Gordon Semple to death.
Stefano Brizzi, 49, is charged with the murder of PC Semple at his flat in the Peabody Trust Estate near Southwark Street, between April 1 and 7.
Brizzi, an Italian national, is also accused of dismembering his body and dumping the pieces in the communal bins at his block of flats. They are believed to have met using the gay-dating app, Grindr.
Police were alerted after neighbours complained of a “smell of death” a week after the officer disappeared.
PC Semple, from Dartford in Kent, was reported missing by his partner Gary Meeks on Friday April 1, after he failed to come home from work.
Crispin Aylett QC, prosecuting, said: “The defendant is charged with the murder of a police officer who he met, it would seem, through Grindr.
“The Crown allege the defendant strangled the victim then dismembered his body and disposed of some of the remains in the communal waste bins and in other ways.”
PC Semple, originally from Inverness in Scotland, had worked for the Bank of Scotland before joining the Met Police, and most recently worked with Westminster Council’s anti-social-behaviour unit.
After the family announced his death on Facebook, his brother, Ronnie Semple, said: “I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts during the past dreadful week.
“It has been a terrible time for us all, especially Gary. Gordon will be sadly missed by all of his immediate family, his colleagues in the Met Police. But most of all the hardest loss is for Gary at this time.”
Brizzi is yet to enter a plea to a single charge of murder.
The Recorder of London, Judge Nicholas Hilliard, QC, set a provisional trial date of October 18 and said Brizzi would enter a plea at a hearing on June 29.
He was remanded in custody ahead of his next Old Bailey appearance on April 20.