Cannibal killer who cut up policeman committed suicide in jail, inquest rules

A cannibal killer who strangled and dismembered a policeman he met on Grindr took his own life two months into his life sentence, an inquest found.

Stefano Brizzi, 50, hanged himself in his cell at HMP Belmarsh on February 5 last year.

Two months earlier he had been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 24 years for the murder of Pc Gordon Semple, 59.

Stefano Brizzi death
Stefano Brizzi death

Brizzi had been placed on heightened observations while in prison but he was taken off suicide watch around a month before his death.

A jury at an inquest at Southwark Coroner's Court found he died by hanging and recorded a verdict of suicide.

He left a will and letters to his family and friends on his bed, which included the phrase "I die in peace", the inquest heard.

He was described by the jury as an "atypical prisoner" with a "high intellect" who was "frustrated by the limitations of prison life".

Police forensic officers after the remains of Gordon Semple were found (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Police forensic officers after the remains of Gordon Semple were found (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Brizzi previously worked as a web developer for merchant bank Morgan Stanley and held degrees in both philosophy and web development.

But he had not held a job since 2014 due to a battle with crystal meth addiction.

He arranged to meet Mr Semple, who was on duty, over the gay dating app Grindr in 2016.

After strangling his victim, Brizzi dismembered the body and tried to dissolve it in acid in the bath.

Police were alerted to the smell of chemicals and decomposing flesh coming from Brizzi's flat on the Peabody Trust Estate in Borough, south-east London, on April 7.

Traces of the victim's body were also found in the oven, a tea strainer and even on some chopsticks, while a bite mark was found on a rib.