Italian Stefano Brizzi, 50 attempted to eat the policeman he killed in April 2016
A cannibal killer who brutally murdered a Met Police officer hanged himself in his cell weeks after notes marked ‘in case of my death’ were found by prison staff.
Stefano Brizzi, 50, killed PC Gordon Semple, 59, then cooked parts of his body and tried to eat him, in April 2016.
Italian national Brizzi was less than three months into his minimum 24-year jail sentence for the gruesome killing, on February 5 last year, when he was found dead.
An inquest heard on Monday how two weeks prior to his suicide, notes had been found which may have indicated suicidal thoughts.
Brizzi had served eight weeks for strangling PC Semple during a drug-fuelled sadomasochistic chemsex session when he took his own life.
The pair had met through gay dating app Grindr and the former Morgan Stanley IT developer invited PC Semple to his flat near London Bridge for a ‘sleazy session’.
Breaking Bad obsessed Brizzi killed the Peckham based officer, chopped him up, then tried to dissolve his victim’s body parts in acid. Other parts he tried to cook so he could eat them. PC Semple’s DNA was found on chopsticks, in a cooking pot and in Brizzi’s oven.
PC Gordon Semple, 59, met Brizzi on gay dating app Grindr and was murdered brutally in his London Bridge flat
Brizzi was placed on suicide watch in maximum security Belmarsh jail in south east London. On January 4, after he was convicted, ‘suicide watch ceased’ and a month later Brizzi took his own life, an inquest at Southwark Coroners’ Court heard on Monday.
Letters to his best friend and other family members were found in the killer’s cell, as well as a handwritten will.
Many were found after his death, but today the court heard others were discovered in January – two weeks prior to his suicide.
Jeanette Turrell, a custodial manager at Belmarsh told the court documents marked ‘in case of my death’ were found in Brizzi’s cell on January 24.
She said: ‘Pieces of paperwork marked ‘in case of my death’, a list of staff officer’s names, and some items referring to his family including a next of kin slip were found prior to his death.
‘It appears to be quite unclear as to what happened after that meeting and what happened as a result and who the information was or wasn’t shared with.’
A prison officer said to Southwark Coroner’s Court if documents found after his death were known to the authorities he would have been placed on a ‘constant watch’.
But questions remain over what was discovered in the run up to his death.
Coroner Dr Julian Morris said the inquest will look at the response of prison staff to finding a ligature in Brizzi’s cell before his death, as well as the accuracy of assessments made of his mental health.
Brizzi was seen on CCTV buying supplies in a London shop. He attempted to dissolve his victim’s body in acid and cooked other body parts
Questions have been raised over the discovery of the noose in his cell, and how he was able to hang himself weeks later.
Psychiatrist Matthew Cook of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust said a noose was found the day he was convicted but said he made it because he was ‘bored’.
He said: ‘Initially when the ligature was found he was adamant he had no suicidal ideation and that he only made the noose because he was bored and frustrated with what was happening at the time through the court case.
‘He claimed the ligature was there for a period of time and said he had no intention to harm himself.
‘He was frustrated he couldn’t access his bank and had no money for the canteen and that no one in the prison cared for him and he felt ignored.
‘He said he had periods of suicidal thoughts throughout his adult life due to his HIV status and losing his job.
‘He felt crystal meth had ruined his life and he had lost his job because of it. He found that difficult to cope with.
‘He fully expected to spend the rest of his life in prison as he had a life-limiting condition, but wanted to make a life for himself as best he could.’
Police surround the flat where PC Gordon Semple was killed by HIV positive drug addict Stefano Brizzi, 50
Gordon Semple’s body was found in a flat on the Peabody Estate close to London Bridge after he met a gay lover on Grindr
However, Stuart Lawson, governor of Belmarsh jail, told the court Brizzi was not assessed as ‘vulnerable’ when he first arrived at the category A jail.
He said: ‘Mr Brizzi came through and with the nature of his crime that doesn’t necessarily make him a vulnerable prisoner.
‘When interviewed he didn’t feel vulnerable so wasn’t put on the vulnerable wing, he went to health care for assessment.
‘That was the right decision for them to make, it is quite normal when a prisoner presents themselves as some sort of risk.’
Stefan Brizzi hand wrote a will before he hanged himself in Belmarsh prison in February, just eight weeks into his 24 year sentence
Gordon from Inverness was based at Peckham police station in south-east London after joining the Metropolitan Police in 1986
CCTV footage showed PC Semple on his way to meeting Brizzi in April 2016. The PC was killed and chopped up by the Italian
The court also heard Brizzi used cannabis for the age of 40 and became addicted to meth in 2013 where he would meet HIV positive men for sex.
Dr Rachel Daly, a consultant forensic psychiatrist from Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘I saw him when he came into Belmarsh.
‘He said he found family life difficult because they struggled with his sexuality and his HIV status.
‘He had some physical health problems relative to him being HIV positive and Hepatitis C.
‘He had a history of addiction to crystal meth since he came to London.
‘There was no evidence of depression of self-harm because of his conviction.
‘He had a good insight and felt he had come to prison for a serious charge and had ruined his life through addiction to drugs and lost his job.
‘He blamed his crime on drug misuse. He felt his major problems came from prior to coming to prison, he did not believe it was due to any madness.
‘He was a very sad man, he had seen he had deteriorated from success to prison but was still anxious to get involved in prison life.’
Brizzi was born in Florence, Italy, and had two degrees in philosophy and computing, and was a web developer for Morgan Stanley bank for more than 20 years.
The inquest continues.