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Crane driver Nibbs cut off wife's head and flushed it away, court is told

By Emily Pennink

A jealous husband decapitated his wife of 30 years, broke her head into pieces and flushed them down the toilet in an act of "pure hatred", a court was told yesterday.

Crane driver Dempsey Nibbs, (69), said he beheaded Judith Nibbs (60), the mother of his two children, because he thought she was a "snake".

However, the Old Bailey murder trial was told Nibbs had shown no signs of mental illness in the wake of the horrifying killing at the couple's home in Hoxton, east London, in April 2014.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett, QC told jurors to "brace themselves" as he outlined the gruesome case.

He told how the couple's relationship had soured in the spring of 2014 as Nibbs suspected his wife of having affairs.

The victim had confided in her sister and a colleague at a meals on wheels service that the defendant had threatened to kill her and grabbed her by the throat.

During a row on April 7, Ms Nibbs, who is originally from Kirkham, near Preston, Lancashire, admitted seeing other men, taunting Nibbs by saying: "I have had sex eight times."

Days later, on the night of April 10, Nibbs attacked her in their Hoxton flat and knocked her out, Mr Aylett said.

He told jurors: "Having attacked his wife, the defendant then took up a kitchen knife and cut off her head.

"Nor does the horror end there. Having decapitated his wife, the defendant began to break her head into pieces with a mallet and a metal bar. He then flushed the pieces down the lavatory.

"Quite why the defendant decapitated Judith and then disposed of her head is not entirely clear, but it may well be that he did it out of pure hatred at the sight of his wife's face."

After the killing, Nibbs wrote a suicide note addressed to his son, Kirk (30), and rang police to say they would find "a couple of dead bodies" at his home.

A paramedic was first on the scene, but he was "fobbed off" by the defendant. A police officer then arrived and, seeing the headless corpse through the letter box, kicked in the door.

He found Nibbs with a shotgun in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other which he used to stab himself. Nibbs was taken to hospital with stab wounds to the neck and stomach.

Mr Aylett told jurors the defendant admitted killing his partner but said that he had been "defending himself".

Nibbs, of the Charles Estate in Hoxton, denies murder and obstructing the coroner from holding an inquest in the violent death of Judith Nibbs by disposing of her decapitated head.

The trial continues.

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