Man jailed for life for body in suitcase killing

16/04/2015

A man has today been jailed at Birmingham Crown Court to life, to serve a minimum of 19 years, after he was found guilty of killing a man, whose dismembered body was found in two suitcases in a canal in Smethwick.

During the five week trial, the jury heard how Lorenzo Simon, aged 34, had offered the 39-year-old victim, Michael Spalding, a place to live in Smethwick in return for work being carried out on the property where he would be staying.

 

The court then heard that Mr Spalding was bullied by the defendant and ultimately killed by him. Simon then dismembered Mr Spalding's body, put it into two suitcases and threw those suitcases into the canal. Having disposed of his body and some of his belongings the defendant then took money from the victim's Post Office account.

On 12 May 2014, an employee of the British Waterways informed the police that he had found two suitcases which contained body parts.

 

Simon was arrested and later charged with murder. His co-defendant, Michelle Bird, aged 35 pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was sentenced today to two-and-a-half-years.

 

Ian Crooks, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Michael Spalding had trusted  Lorenzo Simon when offered a place to stay in return for doing work on the property. The reason for Simon's attack on Mr Spalding remains unclear.

 

"In an attempt to hide what he had done, Simon then dismembered the body, put it into two suitcases and threw them, and some of the victim's belongings, into the canal. Michelle Bird was a willing participant in that part of the enterprise.

 

"Our thoughts are, and always have been, with the family and friends of Mr Spalding. We at the CPS hope that today can give them some closure and allow them to at least begin the process of rebuilding their lives following the loss of Michael."