Husband GUILTY of murdering bride 3 days after their wedding & stuffing her body in suitcase after she asked for divorce | The Sun
A HUSBAND who killed his wife three days after their wedding before stuffing her body in a suitcase has been found guilty of her murder.
Dawn Walker, 52, was found dead in a field near the home she shared with Thomas Nutt in Lightcliffe, near Halifax, West Yorks., in October last year.
Nutt, 45, had admitted killing his wife by pleading guilty to manslaughter – but had denied murder.
But on Wednesday a jury at Bradford Crown Court returned a unanimous guilty verdict.
Over the course of the trial, the jury heard Nutt killed Dawn some time between October 27 – the couple's wedding day – and October 31 last year.
Dawn had asked Nutt for a divorce before he killed her, first keeping her body in a kitchen cupboard before transferring her to the suitcase.
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He called police on October 31 to tell them that his wife had gone missing, prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC told Bradford Crown Court.
Nutt told cops he'd been driving around Brighouse, West Yorkshire, with his step daughter, Keira-Lee, and her one-year-old, searching for the mum.
But in reality, Mr MacDonald said Nutt had murdered her days earlier in his home in nearby Halifax, by hitting her in the head and strangling her.
Mr MacDonald told the court it was true that Nutt had spent the morning going to shops in the local area and had acted like a "distraught new husband".
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After killing Dawn, Nutt decorated their house for Halloween.
At one point, when questioned by a neighbour where she was, he told them: "Dawn was still in bed with a hangover".
Her body was found by a concerned neighbour who had agreed to go with Nutt to a nearby cemetery to 'look for Dawn' after he had reported her missing.
A post-mortem carried out after the discovery of Dawn's body revealed she had suffered a catalogue of injuries.
Some, like a black eye, bruising to her neck, body, chest and collarbone were caused before her death.
Others, like the "obvious deformity" to her legs were caused as Nutt tried to shove her into the suitcase after keeping her for a time in a kitchen cupboard.
During the prosecution's closing speeches on Friday, Mr MacDonald told the court Nutt is a "seasoned practised liar" who "demonstrated a tendency to attack his female partners."
He conducted a "ghastly charade" to hide his grisly crime and even led her daughter to believe that her own mum might still be alive.
Mr MacDonald said: "He knew perfectly well that her body was in a cupboard at home.
"The whole thing was, say the prosecution, a ghastly charade leading her daughter to believe that her mother might still be alive when he knew perfectly well that she was dead.
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"Just yards away in an outhouse near to where he was making his Halloween decorations."
Nutt, of Shirley Grove, Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire, has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced for the murder of Dawn on August 19.
How you can get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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