An Italian graduate accused of murdering a police officer after “human remains” were found in his flat appeared in court today (Mon)
Social worker Stefano Brizzi, 49, was charged with the murder of Scots cop Gordon Semple after he disappeared while on duty.
The Met Police officer was reported missing by his partner, Gary Meeks, after he failed to return home from work on Friday April 1.
Brizzi was arrested at his flat in the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street, when PC Semple’s remains were discovered on Thursday lunchtime – six days after he went missing .
He is accused of murdering PC Semple at some point during the six-day period.
A balding and bearded Brizzi appeared relaxed as he appeared at Bromley Magistrates’ Court via a video link from Lewisham Police Station.
Brizzi greeted the court by saying “good morning” as he was brought into the dock.
Wearing a prison-issue grey jumper he also clarified his status in the UK telling the court: “I’m an Italian citizen but a UK resident.”
At one point during a legal discussion over who will represent him, he authoritatively raised a finger to state he “unequivocally” wanted to be represented by Murrays Partnership.
Chair of the bench Sue Polydorou, said: “Mr Brizzi, the matter with which you have been charged, the offence of murder, is indictable only.
“You cannot be dealt with in this court therefore I will send this to the Central Criminal Court.”
Mrs Polydorou remanded him in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday morning.
Denise Clewes, prosecuting, agreed the matter should be sent to the Old Bailey.
The officer, originally from Inverness, Scotland, went missing after leaving a meeting at the five-star Shangri La hotel in The Shard skyscraper at around 12.30pm.
CCTV cameras then picked him up nearly three hours hours later in nearby Great Guildford Street.
Brizzi was arrested at his home on Thursday and was charged with murder on Saturday.
The fan of TV show Breaking Bad is believed to have studied at the University of Florence, in Firenze, Italy before coming to London in 2010.
Brizzi, who is gay and calls himself Stef, has spoken about being from a strict religious background on social media.
Pc Semple, who was an antisocial behaviour officer with Westminster City Council, lived with his partner Mr Meeks, 49, in Greenhithe, Kent.
After the family announced his death on Facebook, his brother, Ronnie Semple, said: “I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts during the past dreadful week.
“It has been a terrible time for us all, especially Gary.
“Gordon will be sadly missed by all of his immediate family, his colleagues in the Met Police, former Bank of Scotland colleagues in Inverness and London, friends from his Tartan Army Days, but most of all the hardest loss is for Gary at this time.”
Gordon leaves behind his partner Gary, brother Ronnie, sister-in-law Maureen, nephew Paul and niece Kerry Nicholas.