A man has pleaded not guilty to strangling and dismembering a police officer he allegedly met on a gay dating app.

Stefano Brizzi is facing a murder charge over the killing of 59-year-old officer Gordon Semple.

49-year-old Italian-born Brizzi appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link today, where he spoke only to plead not guilty and confirm his identity.

A provisional trial date has been set for 18 October.

The remains of Mr Semple were discovered in April.

The prosecution alleges that Brizzi dismembered Mr Semple’s body and disposed of it in communal waste bins on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street, south London.

PC Semple’s remains were found after a neighbour reported a “smell of death” coming from Brizzi’s flat.

The police officer went missing on April 1 after being last seen close to London Bridge.

His partner, Gary Meeks, reported him missing later that day.

Originally from Inverness, PC Semple worked at Bank of Scotland before joining the force, where he had worked for 30 years.

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