Statement on the murder of PC Gordon Semple
A jury at the Old Bailey has today delivered a guilty verdict in the trial of Stefano Brizzi, a man who murdered and dismembered the body of PC Gordon Semple. Brizzi killed the policeman after agreeing to meet him for sex through a smartphone app. Throughout the trial Brizzi's use of crystal meth has been a prominent feature, with some of the press keen to label him a 'chemsex killer'.
The case has been harrowing to follow in news reports, containing gruesome accounts of the crime and its aftermath. It has also thrust crystal meth and chemsex into the headlines once more. Crystal is one of three drugs commonly used for sex which has gained popularity among small groups of gay and bisexual men over the last decade. Its effects have been well documented in other parts of the world where it has been more of a mainstream drug: in the UK it is seldom seen outside of chemsex settings.
A case like this is a rare and extreme example, but the impact of crystal meth on the mental health of our service users is not. We strongly advise anyone who experiences any difficulties through using it, or other drugs or alcohol, to seek support as early as possible. Our Antidote service offers support to LGBT people seeking to stop completely, or to have more control over what, when, and how they use.
Sadly, whilst PC Semple’s death could not have been prevented in this case, our tips for personal safety offer some practical suggestions for navigating online and app safety in general situations. If you have been affected by any of the issues surrounding this case you can speak to us, or our partners Galop confidentially.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of PC Semple.