London

Stefano Brizzi: Breaking Bad 'inspired' body disposal

File court artist sketch of Stefano Brizzi at the Old Bailey on 13 April 2016 Image copyright PA
Image caption Stefano Brizzi denies murder but has admitted disposing of PC Semple's body

A man accused of murdering a policeman has said his attempt to dissolve the officer's body in an acid bath was inspired by TV show Breaking Bad.

Stefano Brizzi, 50, is accused of strangling PC Gordon Semple, 59, before dismembering him.

At the Old Bailey, prosecutors accused him of "living out an episode" of the US drama, in which a body is "got rid of" by dissolving it in acid.

Mr Brizzi denies murder but admits obstructing a coroner.

The Italian national said he "panicked" and felt "paranoid" after PC Semple, from Greenhithe, Kent, died during a "sex game gone wrong" at his south London flat.

'No rationality'

During cross-examination, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC asked Mr Brizzi - who has admitted using crystal meth - about his "obsession" with Breaking Bad.

He suggested Mr Brizzi had been inspired by an episode of the show - about a chemistry teacher who makes a fortune manufacturing the drug - where character Jesse Pinkman attempts to dissolve a body in a bath.

"I accept I considered without any rationality at all. I think I was inspired by that idea," Mr Brizzi said.

"I took whatever was there, thinking maybe I can dissolve him. The bath was absolutely tiny, I had no knives, no saws, anything in particular out of the ordinary.

Image copyright Gordon Semple
Image caption Gordon Semple served with the Metropolitan Police for 30 years
Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Brizzi said he had watched the US TV series two or three times

"I had no idea what kind of chemical I was using. I'm not saying I was not inspired by that idea. What other ways did I have to dispose of it? I couldn't bury it. I didn't know where to start."

The court previously heard officers found a "blue-green liquid" in the bath with "flesh-coloured globules floating in the water", when they searched Mr Brizzi's flat.

Mr Brizzi told the court after PC Semple died, he felt he was living in a "bad dream" and decided that, rather than call the police, he would cut up and dispose of the body.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said Mr Brizzi dismembered the body so no-one could find out exactly how the police officer had died.

"The condition you left the body in means the pathologist cannot tell one way or another. You could have hit him with a hammer, rendering him unconscious," he said.

He said Mr Brizzi "did everything [he] possibly could to make sure nobody would be able to find out what happened to Gordon Semple".

Mr Brizzi replied: "I tried to get away with it. I did not act out a strategy of some kind of well- thought ideas."

The trial continues.

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