Husband who strangled wife to death and stuffed her body in a suitcase hours after wedding jailed

Thomas Nutt has been jailed for murdering his wife Dawn Walker just hours after they were married. (SWNS)

A man who murdered his wife within hours of their wedding has been jailed for life.

The body of Dawn Walker, 52, was found on 31 October last year, just four days after she married Thomas Nutt.

Sentencing, Judge Johnathan Rose ordered him to serve a minimum of 21 years for the "spontaneous, unprovoked outburst of violence" which led to her death.

Some in the public gallery cheered and shouted as Nutt was sentenced.

Bradford Crown Court was told Nutt, 45, had murdered his bride by strangling her and hitting her over the head, before storing her body in a cupboard.

Watch Husband tries to hide wife's body after killing her hours after their wedding

He then stuffed her into a suitcase and "dumped" her in undergrowth near his home in Halifax.

Jurors were told he broke her leg putting her into the bag.

When Dawn's daughter came to her house the day Nutt reported her missing, Nutt had cleaned the house of any sign of the violence.

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.

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

Dawn Walker, pictured on her wedding day, was last seen that night by her maid of honour. (SWNS)
(West Yorkshire Police)
Thomas Nutt plead guilty to manslaughter but a jury found him guilty of murder. (West Yorkshire Police)

He later told them: "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."

Nutt refused to give evidence at his own trial, but instead admitted manslaughter and claimed he "did not intend" to cause serious harm.

The jury found him guilty of murder after three hours of deliberation.

Dawn's family cheered as the foreman of the jury returned a unanimous verdict of murder.

Nutt muttered "F**k you" as he was taken to the cells.

The court was told Dawn was last seen alive on her wedding day just before 11pm by her maid of honour.

Thomas Nutt was caught on camera trying to hide the suitcase his wife was put into . (West Yorkshire Police)
Thomas Nutt was caught on camera trying to hide the suitcase his wife was put into . (West Yorkshire Police)
Dawn Walker had told her husband she wanted a divorce, he claimed. (SWNS)

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.

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

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”.

In fact, Nutt had killed Dawn before leaving for a two-day holiday to Skegness.

Sentencing, Judge Rose said he was satisfied Nutt murdered Dawn just hours after they said their vows.

He said: "You then desecrated her body, hiding it in a cupboard while you enjoyed a short holiday before forcing her body into a suitcase, deceiving her family and friends when she went missing. I find you to be without remorse.

"No sentence will ease the pain of her family at the loss they have sustained."