The body of a newly married woman was found stuffed inside a suitcase just four days after she married her would-be killer, a court has heard.
Dawn Nutt, who was 52, was discovered dead inside a case in a field close to the house she shared with Thomas Nutt in Lightcliffe, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 31 October last year.
Nutt, 45, of Shirley Grove, has admitted manslaughter but denies murdering his wife.
Opening the prosecution's case, Alistair MacDonald QC said: "It is often said that someone’s wedding day and the immediate period after that is one of the happiest times of their life.
"That was not the case with Dawn Nutt, nee Walker, whose body was found stuffed into a suitcase and dumped into some undergrowth in a field towards the back of Thomas Nutt’s house four days after she was married to this defendant."
The court heard the last time anyone saw Dawn Nutt alive was on her wedding night.
On 31 October, Thomas Nutt called police to report his wife missing and told them that he had been driving around the area with his wife's daughter, Keira-Lee, looking for her.
Mr MacDonald told the jury: "The hard and stark reality, though, is that when he made those enquiries, with Dawn’s daughter and grandson, and when he made the call to the police telling them that she had disappeared, he knew perfectly well that her body was lying dead in a cupboard at the marital home.
"He knew she was there, in fact, because he had killed her and put her body there before stuffing it into a suitcase, breaking bones in order to achieve that objective before wheeling her in the suitcase to a place at which he dumped her body."
Nutt later handed himself in to police and gave them the location of his wife's body. He told them that, after the wedding, he and his new wife spent a few days in a caravan in a layby near Skegness.
He said that when they returned, his wife, who he said was bi-polar, told him she wanted a divorce.
He claimed she said she would have him jailed for a second time – having previously seen him convicted for rape and assault.
Nutt told police: "She started screaming and I have hit her in the face and put my arm round her neck."
He admitted killing her, but said it was unintentional.
The prosecution say Nutt was lying about taking his wife to Skegness.
Mr MacDonald said: "He killed her before he left to go there and we say that she lay dead in their matrimonial home whilst he was away in Skegness and before that ghastly charade was acted out when he returned, pretending to Dawn’s daughter that her mother was still alive and acting his way round the shops of Brighouse in an attempt to make it look as though he was conducting a genuine search for her before dumping her body in the field."
The trial continues.
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