The jury in the trial of a Satanist accused of killing a Highland policeman have been told they can consider an alternative charge of manslaughter.
Stefano Brizzi, 50, who worked as a web developer for Morgan Stanley, killed Constable Gordon Semple, 59 and originally from Inverness, after meeting him through the gay dating app Grindr.
Brizzi then tried to dispose of part of the body in a bath of acid, recreating scenes from his favourite TV show ‘Breaking Bad’.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett yesterday described him as a “liar and an actor” who had discarded his original defence of insanity for a new one.
“Inevitably your sympathy will rest with Gordon Semple and his partner Gary Meeks and his family and friends,” he said.
“We have invariably tended to focus on the facts of that side of Gordon’s life that led him to the defendant’s flat – a world of sexual fetish and drugs.
“But there was of course another side altogether of Gordon Semple’s life, about which you have heard very little.’
“You may recall his friend of many years Jeff Green describing Gordon Semple as a lovely and good man, a family friend, someone who he had invited to his wedding.
“You have been given a glimpse of a world that I imagine would have been largely or entirely unfamiliar to you.
“His death and the treatment of Gordon Semple’s body must arouse feelings of revulsion on your part.
“But put to one side any prejudices the case might arouse in your mind – in the same way you have put to one side any feelings of sympathy you may have for the victim and his friends and family.’
“You know that until he pleaded guilty to the offence of obstructing a coroner the defendant was a man of good character – a man without any convictions either here or in Italy.
“He is a cunning and manipulative liar. You may think he is both a liar and an actor.
“He did after all lay a false trail, both to CD in the WhatsApp messages, saying Gordon Semple recovered and went away with another man.”
Brizzi, of the Peabody Estate Trust, Southwark, southeast London, denies murder.
The jury of nine men and three women have been told they can consider an alternative count of manslaughter.
He admits obstructing the coroner in his duty by dismembering PC Semple’s body in order to dispose of it.
The trial continues.