A husband killed his new bride before stuffing her lifeless corpse into a suitcase after she told him she had bipolar disorder and wanted a divorce, a court heard.
Thomas Nutt, 45, is accused of murdering Dawn Walker, 52, after her body was found “dumped” in undergrowth at the back of his house four days after they were married.
He has admitted killing the grandmother by pleading guilty to manslaughter – but denies murder.
Prosecuting Alistair MacDonald QC told Bradford Crown Court how Nutt had telephoned police on October 31 last year to tell them that his wife had gone missing.
He said Nutt had informed officers he’d earlier driven around Brighouse, West Yorkshire, with his stepdaughter, Keira-Lee, and her one-year-old, searching for the mum.
Mr MacDonald said Nutt had murdered her days earlier in his home in nearby Halifax, by hitting her in the head and strangling her to death.
Mr MacDonald alleged Nutt then shoved Dawn’s body into a suitcase and went on a two-day trip to Skegness, before disposing of the bag in a field at the back of his house.
Speaking to the jury, he said: “It is often said that someone’s wedding day and the immediate period after that is one of the happiest times of someone’s life.
“That was not the case with Dawn Nutt… 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 to him.
“It is the prosecution’s case that when he struck as he did, and strangled his wife to death, he intended, in delivering those injuries, to cause her at least really serious harm and that he is guilty of murder.”
The court heard that Nutt and Dawn were married on October 27 last year, but four days later, the groom phoned the police to let them know she had disappeared.
Mr MacDonald said: “The wedding had taken place on 27th October 2021, and the discovery of the body in the suitcase was made on October 31.
“The last sighting of her alive by friends or family, apart from this defendant, of course, was made by her maid of honour, and that sighting was between 10.30 pm and 11.00 pm on her wedding night.
“The defendant, in fact, telephoned the police to report her missing at 12.22 pm, just into the afternoon, on 31st October 2021.
“He told them that his new wife had left their house at about 09.30 am, to go and visit her daughter Keira at Wilkinson’s shop, in Brighouse, which was nearby, but she had never, in fact, turned up.
Mr MacDonald told the court it was true that Nutt had allegedly spent the morning going to shops in the local area and had appeared as a “distraught new husband”.
The prosecutor claimed Nutt had, however, already murdered Dawn by this point, before stuffing her body into a suitcase and hiding it in a cupboard in their family home.
He said: “You will hear that Keira and he were in various shops making enquiries about the whereabouts of Mr Nutt’s new wife, for all the world like the distraught new husband of a new wife who had apparently disappeared without trace.
“The hard and stark reality, though, ladies and gentleman, is when he made those enquiries, with Dawn’s daughter and grandson, and when he made the call to the police telling them that she had disappeared, he knew perfectly well that her body was lying dead in a cupboard at the marital home.
“He knew she was there because he had killed her and he’d 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.”
Later the same day, Mr Macdonald said police received a tip off from a local solicitor that Nutt had confessed to killing Dawn and was handing himself in, jurors heard.