A sadomasochist is accused of cooking and eating a police officer

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Every so often a particularly gruesome case is heard in court, and this is definitely one of those examples. A sadomasochist is accused of cooking and eating parts of a police officer after strangling him at his flat.

Stefano Brizzi is accused of throttling Gordon Semple after meeting him on gay dating app Grindr, and then attempting to dispose of the body in a variety of ways, including in an acid bath.

Old Bailey
The Old Bailey, where the trial is taking place (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

DNA from the alleged victim was found on the blade of a blender, cooking pot, chopsticks, chopping board and grease in the oven of the 50-year-old Italian's kitchen, the Old Bailey heard.

Investigators also found there were bite marks on a piece of bone recovered from the kitchen bin at Brizzi's home and evidence that one of his legs had been burned, the jury was told.

Semple was on duty when he arranged to meet Brizzi for "hot, dirty, sleazy" sex on the afternoon of April 1.

Gordon Semple
Gordon Semple met Brizzi on April 1 (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Following the alleged murder, neighbours on the Peabody Estate in south London noticed a "revolting smell" coming from Brizzi's flat.

Police officers were called because of the stench, and one found a human hand and part of a spine in a bin liner, the court heard.

Brizzi later allegedly claimed he had disposed of some body parts he had been unable to break up by taking them on his bicycle to a quiet spot by the River Thames. He allegedly told police he had been unable to dissolve the "flabbery" bits with chemicals and had tried to flush them down the toilet.

Police
Police were called to Brizzi's flat because of the smell (Joe Giddens/PA)

Asked what was still at the flat, Brizzi said there was a foot, hand and leg "which I tried to roast as well", the court was told. A foot was later discovered by the Thames riverbank at Bermondsey Wall and body matter recovered from drainpipes in Brizzi's block.

The defendant said he had HIV and had been told by Satan to "kill, kill, kill", jurors heard.

While in the custody suite after his arrest, Brizzi allegedly said: "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."

Old Bailey
Sketch of Stefano Brizzi in the dock (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Jurors heard that Semple and Brizzi engaged in sexual conduct that involved the alleged victim having a leash put around his neck. The defence claims that the leash slipped, and then Brizzi realised that Semple was no longer breathing. The prosecution alleges that the defendant deliberately strangled Semple.

"Having murdered him, he went on to dismember his body before attempting to dispose of it in circumstances that amount to cannibalism," prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors.

A post-mortem examination revealed evidence of GHB and sedative ketamine in Semple's remains.

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