Husband 'strangled wife to death just after wedding and stuffed body into suitcase'

Thomas Nutt, 45, is accused of murdering Dawn Walker, 52, just after they were married.(SWNS)

A husband killed his new wife just after their wedding before stuffing her body into a suitcase and claiming she had gone missing, a court has been told.

Thomas Nutt, 45, is accused of murdering Dawn Walker, 52, after her body was found “dumped” in undergrowth at his home in Halifax just four days after they were married.

Jurors heard she had told him she had bipolar disorder and wanted to get a divorce before her death.

Prosecuting, Alistair MacDonald QC said their wedding took place on 27 October last year, and Walker was last seen alive by her maid of honour, just before 11pm that night.

Nutt called police on 31 October to tell them his wife had gone missing, telling detectives she had left their home that morning, on her way to visit her daughter Keira-Lee in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Nutt told detectives he had been driving around the area with Keira-Lee and Walker's one-year-old grandson, searching for Walker.

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Dawn Walker, pictured on her wedding day, was last seen that night by her maid of honour. (SWNS)

Jurors were told during their search, that Nutt had spent the morning going to shops in the local area and had acted like a “distraught new husband”.

But in reality, Bradford Crown Court was told he had forced her body into the bag, breaking her bones in the process, before leaving it in a cupboard.

MacDonald said Nutt had killed her by hitting her over the head and strangling her to death.

The court was shown CCTV footage of Nutt taking a large suitcase out of his house and dumping it in nearby bushes just as a police officer arrived at his front door to talk about his missing person report.

The jury was told he later handed himself into police, claiming he and his wife had been on a two-day caravan honeymoon in Skegness.

MacDonald said Nutt had told police: “We got married on the 27th and went to Skegness in a layby for two days.

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Dawn Walker had told her husband she wanted a divorce, he claimed. (SWNS)

“We came back and she has got bipolar and is depressed. She 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.”

Nutt admitted manslaughter.

But Macdonald told the jury that while Nutt had admitted to manslaughter, the prosecution did not accept this plea or what he had told police.

Thomas Nutt has admitted manslaughter but denied murder. (SWNS)

In fact, Macdonald told the court Nutt had killed his wife before he left for a two-day vacation, and had intended to kill her, and was therefore guilty of murder.

He said: "It is our case, though not crucial to proving the allegation of murder, that she never went to Skegness but he did. 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.