Man who killed new wife and dumped body in suitcase guilty of murder

Thomas Nutt and Dawn Walker
Thomas Nutt killed Dawn Walker at their home in Lightcliffe. Credit: Facebook

A man has been found guilty of murdering his new wife before stuffing her body in a suitcase and dumping it in undergrowth.

Prosecutors believe scrap merchant Thomas Nutt strangled 52-year-old grandmother Dawn Walker on their wedding night, 27 October last year, before leaving her body in their home and taking a caravan to Skegness.

After returning, he was seen on CCTV wheeling the case containing her body out of the property on Shirley Grove, Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire, and leaving it in nearby bushes.

During his trial, Bradford Crown Court heard Nutt, 46, was controlling and aggressive towards his partner. He had previously been remanded in custody following one attack. He also had a history of violence with a previous partner.

Ms Walker had been seen with a black eye and heavy swelling on her face and told Nutt's ex-partner how on one occasion he had violently attacked her and she had been "nearly killed".

Thomas Nutt Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC told the court that Nutt contacted police on 31 October, telling them his wife had gone missing, and that he appeared to mount a search in what the prosecutor said was a "ghastly charade".

Nutt later handed himself in to a police station and told officers where the body was.

He claimed he and his wife had both been to Skegness for a two-day honeymoon after their wedding and that he killed her during a row after they returned when she told him she was going to divorce him.

Dawn Walker. Credit: Facebook

Nutt admitted manslaughter but denied murder on the basis that "he did not intend to cause her really serious harm".

But he was found guilty by unanimous verdict following a two-and-a-half week trial. There were cheers from the public gallery as the verdict was delivered.

Judge Jonathan Rose told Nutt that he would be sentenced on 19 August.

Speaking after the verdict Emma Covington, of the Crown Prosecution Service, 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."

  • Emma Covington of the CPS speaks to ITV News

Det Insp Amanda Wimbles, of the West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: "Our immediate thoughts are of course with Dawn’s family who have shown such bravery and strength throughout the investigation and trial. 

"They lost Dawn in such tragic circumstances shortly after her wedding and the whole family miss her dearly. They have had to deal with the cruel and callous manner in which Thomas Nutt disposed of her body, which is something that will always be with them.

"We hope that this guilty verdict for murder will provide at least some small measure of comfort to all those who loved her."

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