An Italian social worker has been accused of murdering a police officer who met him through dating website Grindr.
Stefano Brizzi, 49, allegedly killed PC Gordon Semple last week after the officer went missing while on duty.
PC Semple, 59, an anti-social behaviour specialist for Westminster City Council, went missing on April 1 after a meeting at the Shangri-La hotel in The Shard.
The officer, originally from Inverness in Scotland, was last seen on CCTV cameras in nearby Great Guildford Street nearly three hours later.
He was reported missing by his partner, Gary Meeks, when he failed to return home to Greenhithe in Kent that evening, and his remains were discovered at Brizzi’s flat on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street six days later.
It is alleged Brizzi, who is Italian-born and moved to the UK in 2010, murdered the PC during that six-day period.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said this morning: “The defendant is charged with the murder of a police officer who he met, it seems, through Grindr.”
Brizzi, wearing a grey prison issue jumper and short hair and a beard, appeared in the dock wearing dark glasses for a preliminary hearing this morning.
Flanked by three prison guards, he spoke only to confirm his name and listened intently throughout the hearing.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Recorder of London, remanded Brizzi in custody until a plea and trial preparation hearing on June 29.
A provisional trial date has been set for October 18.
Brizzi did not make an application for bail, and has not yet entered a plea to the charge of murder.
He will return to court on April 20 for a hearing to establish which firm of solicitors will represent him.