Stefano Brizzi guilty of murdering Scottish PC Gordon Semple

Italian sadomasochist Stefano Brizzi, who has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of the murder of 59-year-old Pc Gordon Semple. Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Italian sadomasochist Stefano Brizzi, who has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of the murder of 59-year-old Pc Gordon Semple. Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
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A Breaking Bad fan who choked a Scots cop to death during a drug-fuelled sadomasochistic session chopped up and dissolved the body in acid has been convicted of murder.

Stefano Brizzi killed PC Gordon Semple, 59, after they met through the gay dating app Grindr for drug-fuelled “hot dirty sleazy” sex on April 1.

PC Gordon Semple. Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

PC Gordon Semple. Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

The 50-year-old may have cooked and eaten parts of the body, with PC Semple’s DNA found on chopsticks, in a cooking pot and in the oven, jurors were told.

A suspected human bite mark was also discovered on one of his ribs.

Brizzi, a former web developer for the bank Morgan Stanley, denied killing him, and claimed PC Semple, from Inverness, had accidentally died in a “state of erotic bliss” when his lead slipped, and he heard a snap.

But prosecutors argued he had been agitated after an earlier Grindr hook-up fell through, and that Brizzi did not like PC Semple as he claimed he was fat and “just sat on my bed masturbating”.

At the Old Bailey today, the Italian national was convicted of murder and cleared of an alternative count of manslaughter.

After meeting up, the pair took crystal meth and played a sex game which involved a leather-clad Brizzi sitting on the officer’s face and tightening a leash around his neck.

After killing the cop, he dismembered the body, using perforated metal sheets to grate the flesh from the bones, before dissolving the remains in acid over the next few days.

Brizzi admitted being “inspired” by an episode of the US TV show Breaking Bad, in which the main character, Walter White, dissolves a rival in acid.

Giving evidence, he said: “If I had thought about it, if I was some kind of criminal mind, I would have done things in a much more organised way.

“I think I was inspired by the idea. I took whatever was there, thinking maybe I can dissolve him.

“And I probably thought of the acid in Breaking Bad.

“How many other ways could I have disposed of a body? I didn’t know where to start.”

Brizzi flushed the “flabbery” bits down the toilet, and chucked some of the remains, including the organs, in the River Thames, with a foot discovered by a member of the public.

The skull was cracked, and the brain was never recovered.

As the grisly details were read to the court, Brizzi regularly broke down in tears, crying out “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC warned jurors they needed “broad minds and strong stomachs” to try the case.

Brizzi was arrested on April 7 after neighbours complained of foul smells coming from his flat on the Peabody Estate in Southwark, south London.

Police arrived at his flat, which had a strong stench of “gone off meat”, to find him wearing pink Y-fronts and aviator sunglasses, which a neighbour described as similar to those worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

In the bath tub there were “globules” of flesh floating in acid, while buckets full of human remains lay on the floor. Officers found a hand and a spine in a bin bag.

The satanic bible was later discovered on his computer, along with the ‘bible of cock’.

After his arrest, he asked police if he could take a shower, as his bath had been “unusable for days”.

PC Semple, who was originally from Inverness and lived in Greenhithe, Kent, was reported missing by his partner, Gary Meeks, after he failed to return home from work.

A post mortem found PC Semple had been strangled and struck in the face while alive, although it later gave the cause of death as “unascertained”.

Although he was in a relationship, PC Semple was “promiscuous” and regularly used Grindr to meet strangers for “extreme” sex. Brizzi’s tastes were “similarly extreme”.

Despite supposedly being on duty, PC Semple visited Brizzi at his flat mid-afternoon, and over the next few hours, the pair used Grindr to invite others round for a drug-fuelled orgy.

Brizzi told jurors the pair took crystal meth and had sex, adding: “He liked the leather I was wearing. He started saying ‘I really want to have fun with you’.

“At some point, he started to say, ‘I want to explore some extreme fantasies with you’.”

Just one man, known as CD, turned up for the orgy at about 7pm, but only got as far as the front door of the block of flats.

When he pressed the entry buzzer, Brizzi 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”.

Brizzi later told police: “I was right in the middle of strangling Gordon”.

On April 4, a neighbour knocked on the door to complain about the smell, and Brizzi told him he had been “cooking for a friend”.

The next day, Brizzi was caught on CCTV at a Leyland DIY store buying a 3-in-1 saw set, several large plastic buckets and perforated metal sheets.

By April 7, the neighbour had had enough, and called the police. Brizzi came to the door wearing only sunglasses and his underpants, acting “as cool as a cucumber”.

He told the officers: “I’ve tried to dissolve the body. I met him on Grindr and I killed him. Satan told me to.”

Mr Aylett said: “Although he originally blamed Satan, the defendant now says that Gordon Semple died accidentally in the course of a drug-fuelled sex game that went wrong.”

Brizzi moved to London from Italy in 2011, and lost his job at Morgan Stanley in 2014 because of his drug addiction.

He later joined a group called Crystal Meth Anonymous in 2014 to get help, and told members he believed in Satan.

The group founder Alex Roberts said Brizzi had been obsessed with Breaking Bad, and would wear a t-shirt to meetings.

Brizzi also told the drugs group graphic details about his sex life, including how he had “tied a man up and treated him like a dog, making the man go into a cage”.

Brizzi, who admitted one count of obstructing a coroner by dismembering the body, will be sentenced on December 9.