Scottish Policeman's Killer Taken Off Suicide Watch A Month Before He Was Found Hanged

22 August 2017, 14:03

London

Stefano Brizzi was found hanged in his cell around a month after being taken off suicide watch, an inquest heard.

Italian national Brizzi, 50, died at Belmarsh high-security jail in Woolwich, south-east London, on February 5.

Brizzi, who was HIV-positive, was for a time on a programme for prisoners considered at risk which provided a care plan and monitored mental health issues, a pre-inquest review hearing at Southwark Coroner's Court was told.

The crystal meth addict was taken off the programme on December 28 and several days later on January 4 "suicide watch ceased", senior coroner Dr Andrew Harris said.

A noose and a letter "indicating he was thinking about death" had been found in a cell he occupied on his own, the hearing was told.

Dr Harris gave the cause of death as hanging, adding there were no injuries "implying altercation with another party".

A full inquest will seek to determine the "management of information found in his cell indicating he was thinking about death", Dr Harris said.

The noose was said to have been discovered on December 6 while he was still on suicide watch.

It was unclear whether the letter was found on December 10 or was dated December 10 and discovered later, the court heard.

Dr Harris queried the potential "non-disclosure" of the letter to healthcare staff and said it had been suggested Brizzi made the noose out of boredom.

He said: "It is important to understand the way that risk was assessed at the time."

A date of April 23 next year was given for the opening of the inquest, which will have a jury.

Dr Harris added: "Given the nature of his crime we need to understand ... whether he was assessed as a violent prisoner.

"It may relate to the fact he was in a single cell and whether he had been exposed to risk by other prisoners."

Brizzi strangled police officer Gordon Semple, 59, during a bondage sex session and then cooked and tried to eat him.

The former Morgan Stanley IT developer met his victim on gay dating app Grindr, inviting him for a "hot, dirty, sleazy session" at his flat near London's Tate Modern gallery on April 1.

The Breaking Bad fan admitted being inspired by the TV series as he tried to get away with killing the Inverness-born officer by dissolving his flesh in an acid bath.

He was arrested after neighbours complained of a foul stench coming from his flat.

Officers then found "globules" of flesh floating in the tub, bags of bones, and pools of human fat in the oven.