A husband broke his wife’s bones just hours after marrying her so he could stuff her dead body in a suitcase, a court has heard.
Thomas Nutt, 45, killed grandmother Dawn Walker, 52, on October 27 last year and hid her in a cupboard before putting her body in a suitcase.
He then hid the suitcase in bushes behind their West Yorkshire home as he filed a missing person report with the police.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Nutt wheeling a large suitcase out of the back of his house in Lightcliffe, near Halifax, moments before a police officer arrived to follow up his missing person report.
On October 31 he rang police to tell them his wife had gone missing before launching a search described as a ‘ghastly charade’ in Bradford Crown Court.
However, he later confessed to the police that he had killed his wife but insisted he had done so in self-defense after she came ‘violently screaming’ at him.
He said the couple fought after returning from a two-day caravan honeymoon in a lay-by near Skegness.
Nutt admits manslaughter but he denies murder. However, the prosecution argues he went to Skegness alone after killing his wife on their wedding night or the day after.
Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC said: ‘He knew that she was dead, he knew full well where Dawn’s body was and that he had hit her forcefully to the face and throttled her to death.’
He said Nutt went to ‘the considerable effort’ of packing his wife’s body into a suitcase, breaking one of her legs and some ribs due to the effects of rigor mortis.
He described to jurors how he told interviewing officers how he put his arm around Ms Walker’s neck when she came running at him on October 30.
Mr MacDonald said that, according to Nutt’s account: ‘It all happened very quickly, and her body went light on him and she fell down and may have struck her head on the concrete floor.’
He went on: ‘He said that he had not strangled her in anger, he had done so in an attempt to restrain her and, as he did so, he was whispering to her in order to try and calm her down.
‘He was telling her that he loved her, and he had no intention at all of hurting or killing her.’
The court also heard how Ms Walker told a former partner of Nutt that he ‘scared the hell out of her’.
Mr MacDonald told them Kimberley Allcock, who was in a relationship with Nutt for 10 years, said he ‘became a Jekyll and Hyde character’, and had tried to warn Ms Walker.
The prosecutor said: ‘He could be very loving and pleasant but when he lost his temper, he would go mad.
‘When that happened, he would become so focused on his anger that nothing would get through to him and nothing would calm him down.’
He described a series of violent attacks Ms Allcock alleged Nutt had made on her and how she said he was convicted of assaulting her in 2015.
He said: ‘Ms Allcock advised Dawn to be careful and Dawn responded the following day by saying that the defendant scared the hell out of her.’
The trial continues.