Convicted killer Stefano Brizzi has been sentenced to 24 years jail time for the murder of a gay serving police officer.
Stefano Brizzi has been handed a 24-year jail term for the murder of a serving police officer, Gordon Semple. The jail term means he will be at least 74 before he can apply for parole. He was also served with a seven years’ imprisonment for obstructing a coroner from holding an inquest, for which this sentence will run concurrently.
Brizzi was found guilty of murder at the same court on Monday, 14 November, but pleaded guilty to obstructing a coroner on Thursday, 20 October – the first day of his trial.
Brizzi, 50, went to great lengths to dispose of 59-year-old Gordon Semple, by dismembering him and getting rid of him in a manner which “amounts to cannibalism”. Police investigating Semple’s death also revealed that they found “a number of bottles of chemicals scattered over the hallway floor and in the bathroom,” when they arrived at Brizzi’s address.
On Friday, 1 April, Gordon Semple, who dedicated 30 years of his working life to the police, was on duty and had been at a meeting in London Bridge. Phone evidence has shown that at just after 14:00hrs that day he used the dating app Grindr to arrange to meet Brizzi for sex at his south London flat. That afternoon, Brizzi strangled Gordon Semple to death and over the following week set about systematically disposing of his body in a bid to either avoid being caught or ensuring that Gordon could never be identified.
Police arrived at Brizzi’s address six days later on Thursday, 7 April, after neighbours called them and the London Ambulance Service after becoming increasingly concerned about a vile stench emanating from the flat.
On arrival at the door, the officers were greeted by Brizzi wearing his underpants. The officers noted a number of bottles of chemicals scattered over the hallway floor, and in the bathroom discovered bin bags containing body parts.
Brizzi was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to Lewisham police station.
Commander Nick Downing, from the Metropolitan Police Service, said,
“Today, my heart goes out to Gordon’s partner, family, loved ones, friends and colleagues. They have my deepest sympathy; his loss continues to be acutely felt.
“Brizzi has shown no remorse for his actions, since the time of his arrest and throughout his trial. With today’s sentence a dangerous man, whose cold calculated actions were deeply disturbing, is behind bars.”
Statement on behalf of the family of Gordon Semple,
“Gordon continues to be sadly missed by our family. Gordon we miss you so much, may you rest in peace.
“Gordon was a loyal and much loved long term partner, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend to all.
“We were devastated when the news broke of Gordon’s murder and the circumstances which are still incredibly hard to deal with. It is still insurmountably upsetting. Nothing takes away the pain of our loss.
“At Gordon’s funeral we met many of his friends and work colleagues – we were proud to hear how fondly they thought of Gordon.”
Passing sentence the Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC, said,
“The PCs on scene encountered something no amount of training could have prepared them for. I commend them both.
“Mr Semple was dearly loved by his family and friends and no sentence carried by this court can equate to the precious human life lost.”
Addressing Brizzi directly he said: “No sentence I can pass can undo what you’ve done.
“I have no doubt that there came a time when you went beyond what was agreed and you decided to cause him really serious harm.”
He added: “Your attempts to conceal what happened and dismembering and destroying his body are terrible features of the case.”