Alistair MacDonald QC and Eleanor Fry prosecuted Thomas Nutt who was found guilty of murdering his wife, Dawn Walker, having killed her on their wedding night, put her body in a suitcase and dumped it in some bushes.
Thomas Nutt called the police 4 days after his wedding to report his new wife missing. He told police that he had toured Brighouse that morning looking for her and was concerned that she may have wandered off. He said they had been on honeymoon to a layby in Skegness where they watched DVDs.
However, Nutt knew perfectly well that Dawn was already dead, and that she never went to Skegness. Nutt had strangled her and concealed her body in a cupboard at their home.
Having reported his wife missing, and realising that the police would search his home, Nutt raced to dispose of the body, wheeling it in a suitcase through his back garden, across some undergrowth and felled trees, over a fence, through some other gardens, across a field, down a snicket and ultimately dumping the suitcase in some bushes at the side of a recreation ground.
When he arrived back home, sweating profusely from his exertions, an officer was waiting at his door to speak to him to file the missing person report. Nutt continued his earlier charade, speaking to the officer for over an hour, providing details about his wife, her habits and her family, as if to help find her. Meanwhile, neighbours had already discovered the body and reported it to the police.
Nutt later confessed to killing Dawn, and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He said that Dawn had threatened to falsely accuse him of rape, and that she had tried to attack him. He claimed that in attempting to restrain Dawn, he had killed her, but his intention was not to cause her really serious harm.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on the count of murder after 3 hours of deliberation and Mr Nutt will be sentenced on 19 August 2022.
The case has been reported here: