Stefano Brizzi guilty of murdering PC Gordon Semple

Court Reporter (14 November, 2016)

Brizzi, 50, boiled and roasted parts of PC Semple's body and attempted to eat them with chopsticks

8718PC Gordon Semple

Stefano Brizzi, an Italian satanist obsessed with Breaking Bad living in Borough, has been found guilty of murdering PC Gordon Semple and dissolving his remain in an acid bath.

Brizzi, 50, boiled and roasted parts of PC Semple’s body and attempted to eat them with chopsticks.

But Brizzi could not bring himself to consume the body and turned to a method featured in the cult TV show when he tried to make the parts vanish in the bathtub.

The killer, who worked as a web developer for merchant bank Morgan Stanley, had met the 59-year-old victim for a S&M session through the gay dating app Grindr.

CCTV image released by Met Police of PC Semple when he was seen in Great Guildford Street, before his disappearance on April 4

CCTV image released by Met Police of PC Semple when he was seen in Great Guildford Street, before his disappearance on April 4

PC Semple, who was on duty when he arranged to meet his killer, was reported missing by his partner on April 2, sparking a massive manhunt.

Police were alerted to a “smell of death” coming from Brizzi’s flat on the Peabody Trust Estate in Southwark Street, on April 7.

Brizzi answered his door wearing nothing but a pair of pink underpants and aviator shades and quickly announced: “I’ve tried to dissolve the body – I’ve killed a police officer.”

He added: “I killed him last week. I met him on Grindr and I killed him. Satan told me to.”

In Breaking Bad chemistry teacher turned drug baron Walter White entrusts his partner Jesse Pinkman to dissolve the body of a rival crystal meth dealer they have killed.

But the acid melts the bathtub and it falls through the ceiling.

stefano-brizzi-3

Police found a mixture of acid and body parts in Brizzi’s bath and other remains were found in his communal bin on the estate.

He had boiled some of the flesh and roasted other parts in the oven, leading police to believe he had attempted to eat PC Semple with the chopsticks that bore the victim’s DNA.

A piece of chest wall had his bite mark it.

But Brizzi eventually got on his bicycle and with parts of the body and tossed them into the Thames at Rotherhithe.

One of PC Semple’s severed feet was found by a member of the public along the Thames in Bermondsey.

Brizzi told the two policewomen who first attended his flat: “I promised the devil I would kill at the first chance,” adding: “I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t like him.”

He said he had been told to murder PC Semple while he was high on crystal meth.

The Italian later claimed he could have accidentally strangled PC Semple.

Brizzi's address

Brizzi’s address

His defence lawyer suggested it was possible the officer suffered a heart attack during a sex game which involved him sitting on the officer’s face choking him with a collar and lead while PC Semple wore a neoprene gimp mask.

Today a jury of seven men and three women found Brizzi guilty of murder after deliberating for 30 hours and 46 minutes by a majority of ten-to-two.

Brizzi, who earlier admitted obstructing a coroner by chopping up PC Semple’s body, did not show a flicker of emotion as he was convicted.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard, the Recorder of London, is expected to adjourn before passing sentence.

After meeting at around 3pm on April 1 both men used Grindr to invite others around chemsex party.

One man, known only as CD to protect his identity, arrived at just after 7pm.

Brizzi told the crestfallen party-goer over the intercom: “We’re having a situation here. Someone fell ill but we’re taking care of it. So our party is cancelled.”

Stefano Brizzi

Stefano Brizzi

It is believed he arrived at the exact moment Brizzi was strangling PC Semple, but the killer so calm the witness thought someone was just being sick.

“He sounded concerned and a little bit upset but okay. He didn’t sound worried – he was upset and concerned,” the witness said.

Brizzi sobbed loudly on the witness stand as he described the consensual sado-masochistic sex game he and PC Semple played, claiming the officer “died in a state of erotic bliss”.

He said they smoked crystal meth together, saying: “It was just the way that a chemsex encounter would happen and the purpose was just to have some sexual encounter.”

“He was calling me “daddy”, “boss” and “sir”,” he claimed.

“He actually looked at me and asked me “can I please be collared sir?”

“I was trying to please his desires and unfortunately that’s how the whole thing has gone wrong.

“As the game progressed it became increasingly unfamiliar to me, he started to ask for things I have never done before – things I have always deemed as dangerous like leaving him without breath and trying to strangle him.”

He told the court PC Semple asked him to sit on his face and use his buttocks to suffocate him.

He said they had agreed on some safety phrases and a safety word to indicate when he should stop.

The word “red” was their panic word, he said, to indicate he should stop immediately.

“He never said red,” sobbed Brizzi.

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He claimed he heard a snapping sound as he pulled on the leash just as PC Semple lost consciousness, then panicked when he found officer’s police badge in his pockets.

The Italian said he spent the entire seven days between the killing and his arrest in a drugged up haze fuelled by crystal meth and sleeping pills.

But he managed to go to an EE store to get his phone fixed, and to a hardware store to buy the tools and chemicals to dispose of the body.

“It’s as if my mind was working on its own, I really can’t remember things,” Brizzi said.

“I was trying to hide this dead body. I was hoping that the police would arrive at some point because I couldn’t cope with this situation.”

He said in his drug-induced delirium he invented the story about Satan because it seemed more plausible than what had happened.

“Would it be believable for them to come to my house, see the carnage, and say “It was just a sex game gone wrong?”

“I believed I had killed him by strangling him, by accident of course, but I had been talking to him the whole time.

“It was like I was in a dream – I panicked and I was totally exhausted physically and mentally and I couldn’t cope with the idea that I had killed a police officer.”

Brizzi used three different types of saws to hack PC Semple’s body apart.

Police searching for Gordon Semple in the Peabody Estate. Photo by Lauren Ingram

Police searching for Gordon Semple in the Peabody Estate. Photo by Lauren Ingram

He insisted said he had only put sections of the body in the oven to melt away the fat so the acid could reach the muscles and the tissue.

A knife and four black candles were found under the bed when Brizzi’s home was searched, and a PDF of the Satanic bible was found on his computer.

At the police station, Brizzi had told the custody sergeant: “I took crystal meth yesterday when I was thinking I should get rid of the corpse.

“Four days had passed by and nobody had seen or said anything. I thought I was getting away with it. I had nearly finished but I took a shot [of crystal meth]. I was going to finish the job today. As you can see, this man was a very big man and all I have left is two buckets.”

But he later claimed he only had an intellectual interest in Satanism because it was a rejection of the Catholicism he had grown up with.

Brizzi told police in interview: “I kind of said “goodbye”… luckily I didn’t know him. I thought it was a nice way to… make a funeral on the River Thames.”

PC Semple, originally from Inverness, Scotland, was last seen leaving London’s Shard at 12.30pm on April 1 after an on-duty meeting at the five-star Shangri-La hotel.

He had worked in banking before joining the Metropolitan Police and was attached to a Westminster Council anti-social behaviour unit.

PC Semple had lived with partner Gary Meeks in Greenhithe, Kent for 25 years.

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