Court remands in custody man charged with murder of Pc Gordon Semple
A man has appeared in court accused of murdering a gay police officer whose decomposed remains were found in a flat.
The body of Pc Gordon Semple, 59, was found in a property in the Peabody Estate a week after he went missing.
The gruesome discovery was made after a neighbour alerted Scotland Yard to a "smell of death" coming from the flat in Southwark, south London.
Stefano Brizzi, 49, was arrested at the property, which was his flat, and appeared via videolink at London's Bromley Magistrates' Court.
Wearing a grey prison issue tracksuit, he appeared calm as he confirmed his name, age and address during the brief hearing.
Brizzi, who is bearded, told the court: "I'm an Italian citizen but a UK resident."
He sat next to a lawyer at a table in Lewisham Police Station and at times leaned forward in his seat as he listened to the proceedings.
Brizzi, of Peabody Estate, Southwark Street, is charged with murdering Pc Semple at his flat on a day between April 1 and April 7.
At one point he raised his hand to interject in proceedings to ask about his legal aid.
No indication of plea was given and the chairwoman of the bench Sue Polydorou remanded him in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on April 13.
Pc Semple was originally from Inverness in Scotland and had been with the Metropolitan Police for 30 years.