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Husband found guilty of murdering his bride on their wedding night

|News, Violent crime

A man has been found guilty of murdering his new wife on their wedding night and hiding her body in a suitcase.

Thomas Nutt, 46, of Halifax, was found guilty today at Bradford Crown Court of the murder of his 52-year-old wife, Dawn Walker.

The couple, who had been together for several years, were married on 27 October last year at the Register Office in Brighouse.

Witnesses later told police they had previously heard altercations between the couple, and that Nutt was controlling and aggressive towards Dawn. Others had seen Dawn with a black eye and heavy swelling on her face. Dawn told Nutt's ex-partner how he had violently attacked her one night and that she had been ‘nearly killed.’

The court heard that Nutt had previously been remanded in custody following an alleged attack on Dawn, and that he also had a history of violence with a previous partner.

Only four days after the wedding Nutt called the police to report his new wife missing. He told officers he had toured Brighouse, West Yorkshire that morning looking for Dawn, and appeared to be extremely concerned that she had disappeared without trace. He said they had honeymooned in a layby in Skegness, where they had 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. 

Shortly after reporting his wife missing, and realising that the police would search his home, Nutt transferred Dawn’s body to a suitcase, wheeled it away and dumped it in bushes nearby.

On his return, he was met at the house by an officer who was following up on the missing person report. The officer noticed that Nutt was sweating profusely throughout the hour they spent together taking details for a missing person's enquiry. The suitcase containing Dawn’s body was later found by neighbours who alerted 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.

Emma Covington, Senior Crown Prosecutor, from the CPS said: “What should have been the happiest time of Dawn’s life was instead marked by absolute tragedy, when she met her death at the hands of the man she had just married.

“Nutt first played the role of the distraught husband of a missing wife, and then concocted a web of lies to explain his actions. By his plea of manslaughter, Nutt claimed he did not intend to cause Dawn serious harm. This was not accepted by the prosecution.

“Today the jury have agreed with the prosecution case that when Nutt struck and strangled his wife to death, he intended to cause her at least really serious harm.

“He is now facing a life sentence. We hope this will be of some comfort to Dawn’s family and friends. Our thoughts remain with them.”

Notes to editors

  • Thomas Nutt DOB: 05/08/76, is from Shirley Grove, Lightcliffe in Halifax, West Yorkshire
  • Emma Covington is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside

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