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Husband ‘killed new wife four days after wedding and stuffed body into suitcase’

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Husband ‘killed new wife four days after wedding and stuffed body into suitcase’

Ahusband killed his wife of four days and stuffed her body in a suitcase after she told him she had bipolar disorder and wanted a divorce, a court has heard.

The body of grandmother Dawn Walker, 52, was found in a field four days after she wed Thomas Nutt, 45, Bradford Crown Court was told.

She had not been seen since her wedding night on 27 October 2021.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Nutt, who denies murder, wheeling a large suitcase out of the back of his house and into nearby bushes just as a police officer arrived at his front door to follow up the defendant’s missing person report.

Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC told a jury: “It is often said that someone’s wedding day and the period immediately following is one of the happiest times of their life.”

He said this was not the case for Ms Walker “because her body was found stuffed into a suitcase and dumped into some undergrowth in a field towards the back of this defendant’s house four days after she was married”.

Mr MacDonald told the court Nutt rang police on 31 October telling them his wife had gone missing after leaving their home in Shirley Grove, Lightcliffe, near Halifax, that morning, and he appeared to mount a search.

The prosecutor said the “hard and stark reality” was that the defendant “knew perfectly well that her body was lying dead in a cupboard at the marital home”.

He said: “He knew she was there 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 that suitcase to a place at which he dumped her body.”

Mr MacDonald said Nutt then handed himself in to a police station and told officers he and Ms Walker had been on a two-day caravan honeymoon, staying in a layby at Skegness.

The prosecutor said the defendant told police: “We came back and she has got bipolar and is depressed, said she wanted to get divorced. She put me in jail before, said I had tried raping and assaulting her.

“Said she was going to do it again. She started screaming and I have hit her in the face and put my arm round her neck.”

Bradford Crown Court heard Thomas Nutt admitted the manslaughter of his new wife but denied murder (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
 Provided by The IndependentBradford Crown Court heard Thomas Nutt admitted the manslaughter of his new wife but denied murder (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Mr MacDonald told the jury Nutt admitted the manslaughter of his wife on the basis that “he did not intend to cause her really serious harm at the time at which he killed her”. But the prosecution says he is guilty of murder and lied about taking Ms Walker to Skegness.


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Mr MacDonald said Nutt killed Ms Walker before going to Skegness by himself, leaving her body in their house.

The prosecutor said Nutt returned to act out the “ghastly charade” of telling her daughter she was missing and carrying out a search.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the defendant and Ms Walker arriving at the Prince Albert pub in Brighouse for a reception after their wedding at Brighouse Register Office.

Mr MacDonald said witnesses will describe how Nutt and Ms Walker had been together for a number of years, although accounts of how long differed, and they had a “troubled” relationship.

He said one neighbour described Ms Walker, who had three daughters, as “chirpy and energetic”.

This neighbour said that, in 2020, she saw her with a “massive” black eye and cuts to her face.

The prosecutor said this neighbour remembers the defendant was sent to prison after these injuries appeared but the couple resumed living together once he was released.

He said: “She recollects that Dawn and the defendant argued quite often during this period – one minute they were loved-up and the next they would be arguing.

“She had never seen the defendant actually administer any physical violence to Dawn but she had heard arguing coming from the house and Dawn calling out: ‘Tommo, get off me’.”

Mr MacDonald said another neighbour described going round to the house two months before the wedding after he “had never heard such screaming coming from a woman before”.

He said Nutt told the neighbour Ms Walker was having an asthma attack but she shouted: “Don’t believe him, he’s lying, he’s trying to kill me.”

The prosecutor said an examination of Ms Walker’s body showed she had suffered significant neck injuries which indicated there had been “a forceful application of pressure to her neck”.

He said there were also a series of injuries to her face.

Mr MacDonald said there were injuries which must have taken place after Ms Walker died, including rib fractures and breaks in her left shin.

He alleged these were probably caused by Nutt getting his wife’s body into the suitcase.

The trial continues. 

Reference: The Independent: : Chiara Giordano 

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