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Trial date set for Italian man accused of strangling and dismembering Greenhithe PC Gordon Semple

PUBLISHED: 11:23 13 April 2016 | UPDATED: 11:23 13 April 2016

Gordon Semple

Gordon Semple

Archant

Stefano Brizzi, 49, will go on trial on Tuesday, October 28

An Italian-born man will go on trial in the autumn for allegedly strangling and dismembering Greenhithe Pc Gordon Semple after meeting him on gay dating website Grindr.

Stefano Brizzi, 49, is accused of killing the 59-year-old officer at his flat on a day between April 1 and April 7.

He was taken before the Recorder of London, Nicholas Hilliard QC, at the Old Bailey to face the murder charge.

Bearded Brizzi appeared in court wearing dark sunglasses and a grey tracksuit, and was flanked by three dock officers.

The judge set a timetable for the case with a provisional trial date of Tuesday October 28.

A plea and case management hearing was fixed for June 29.

The defendant was remanded in custody ahead of a further hearing on April 20.

Pc Semple was originally from Inverness in Scotland and had been with the Metropolitan Police for 30 years.

He went missing on April 1 and his remains were discovered a week later after a neighbour alerted Scotland Yard to a “smell of death” coming from a property on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street, south London.

Friends remembered Pc Semple as a “great character” and and “old-school cop”.

His brother, Ronnie Semple, said: “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 was a much-loved partner, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and cousin, and our world will be a worse place without him.”

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