Man who murdered and dismembered wife at Lincoln flat jailed for life

Nicholas Metson/Holly Bramley
Nicholas Metson and Holly Bramley married in 2021. Credit: Lincolnshire Police

A man who murdered his wife before dismembering her body and paying a friend to help dispose of the remains has been jailed for life.

Nicholas Metson, 28, stabbed 26-year-old Holly Bramley to death at their flat in Lincoln in March last year.

He then cut her body up into more than 200 pieces and contacted his friend Joshua Hancock, 28.

The pair dumped her remains in the River Witham in the village of Bassingham about 10 miles away.

Some of her body parts have yet to be found, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Metson initially denied murder but changed his plea to guilty before a trial.

He was jailed for a minimum of 19 years 316 days.

Hancock admitted obstructing a coroner, along with unrelated offences of attempting sexual communication with a child and drugs offences.

He was jailed for a total of three years and three months and given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Holly Bramley and Nicholas Metson got together in 2016.

The court heard Metson and Ms Bramley had been together since 2016 and married in 2021.

By the start of 2023, Judge Simon Hirst said, "the relationship had come to an end".

Ms Bramley was last seen on 17 March on CCTV.

In the following days, Metson put a note on the door of their flat saying he was isolating due to Covid and cancelled a takeaway delivery.

At some point he stabbed her then used a "variety of different tools" to dismember the body, the judge said.

He kept the body parts in his flat and sent messages to people saying Ms Bramley had left him.

He made suspicious internet searches, including "how to dispose of a dead body" and "can someone haunt me after they die?".

He also hacked into Ms Bramley's social media accounts to send messages implying that she had left him, alleging that she had assaulted him and transferring money to him by way of apology.

Police were called to the couple's flat on 24 March after concerns were raised for Ms Bramley's safety.

Officers visited the following day but got no response on the first two occasions they knocked at the door.

When Metson answered after their third attempt, he claimed not to know where his wife was and said she had suffered mental health problems, self-harmed and subjected him to domestic abuse.

Joshua Hancock was paid by Metson to help dispose of the body. Credit: Lincolnshire Police

An initial search of the flat revealed a strong smell of ammonia, blood-stained sheets and a saw.

After Metson was arrested, members of the public found some of her body parts in carrier bags.

But some of the body, including parts of her heart, lungs, ribs and fingers are still missing.

In a statement given at a previous hearing, Ms Bramley's mother described Metson as a "monster".

Judge Hirts told Metson: "Holly's family and friends will never know how and why she was killed."

'Our hearts are broken'

Speaking outside court, Ms Bramley's family spoke of the loss of their "vibrant, happy and affectionate daughter, sister and auntie in such a barbaric, heinous and violent way".

Her sister Sarah-Jayne Lindop said: "Today is by no means closure, but it is a milestone in the process of our grief and healing."

She spoke of Ms Bramley's love of singing dancing and her passion for animals.

She said she was "rarely seen without a smile on her face".

"She adored her younger brothers, nieces and nephews and wanted nothing more than to become a mother herself one day," she said.

"Sadly meeting the man who cruelly took her life was just the beginning of a rocky road for Holly as she embarked on a life of domestic abuse and despite our trying as a family we never managed to save her from that.

"We miss Holly so much our hearts are broken. But, if anything, we need her death to highlight that domestic abuse is not okay. If she had recognised that this was what she was being subjected to, we may have her home with us now."

She urged other victims of abuse to seek support.

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