Trial date set for man accused of killing Westminster policeman Gordon Semple

PC Gordon Semple was based in Westminster

PC Gordon Semple was based in Westminster - Credit: PA

An Italian-born man will go on trial in the autumn for allegedly strangling and dismembering a policeman based in Westminster after meeting him on gay dating website Grindr.

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

Today 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 18.

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.

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

He was based in Westminster and worked within the council’s anti-social behaviour team.

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.