PC Gordon Semple
PC Gordon Semple went missing on 1 April after going to a meeting at The Shard Facebook / The Metropolitan Police

The Italian accused of butchering gay Met policeman Gordon Semple after the pair met on dating site Grindr has appeared at the Old Bailey. Stefano Brizzi, 49, sported a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses in the dock when confirmed his identity at the preliminary hearing on Wednesday (13 April).

He is charged with murdering 59-year-old Semple and dismembering him before dumping the remains in communal bins outside his flat at the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street, Bermondsey. Police made the grisly discovery on 7 April when neighbours complained of a "smell of death".

The policeman was reported missing on 1 April by his partner Gary Meeks after Semple was last seen on CCTV leaving the Shangri La hotel at The Shard.

"The defendant is charged with the murder of a police officer who he met, it would seem, through Grindr," prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told the London court. "The Crown allege the defendant strangled the victim then dismembered his body and disposed of some of the remains in the communal waste bins and in other ways."

Brizzi, who was wearing just a pair of Speedos and appeared calm as he was arrested, did not enter a plea and was given a provisional trial date of 18 October. He will, however, be back at the Old Bailey next week before entering a plea in June.