London

Dempsey Nibbs jailed for beheading partner Judith Nibbs

Judith Nibbs Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Judith Nibbs had five children, including two with Dempsey Nibbs

A jealous man who decapitated his long-term partner at their east London flat before flushing her head down the toilet has been jailed for life.

Dempsey Nibbs, 69, killed Judith Nibbs, his partner of 30 years, after he became angry when she admitted to having affairs.

The crane driver, from the Charles Estate in Hoxton, must serve a minimum of 21 years.

Ms Nibbs was attacked with an iron bar in April 2014, the Old Bailey heard.

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Nibbs, who has prostate cancer, claimed he had acted in self defence and that he thought Ms Nibbs was a "snake" - but jurors heard he had shown no sign of mental illness.

The Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC told him: "I'm sure you don't regret your wife's death save for its effect on your own comfort and well-being."

Defence lawyer Ian Henderson QC told the court that Nibbs acknowledged that his ill health meant he would die in jail.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Dempsey Nibbs was armed with a gun and a knife when he was arrested

Nibbs attacked the mother of his two children after she had taunted him that she had had affairs.

After knocking her unconscious with the iron bar, he then cut off her head before attacking it with a mallet.

He then wrote a note to his son and called 999 to say two bodies would be found at the property.

When police arrived, Nibbs was attempting to stab himself. Officers broke the door down before grappling with Nibbs who was armed with a shotgun and knife.

'Might be dead'

Jurors heard that their relationship soured when he suspected Ms Nibbs of having affairs.

Their son said that since his mother no longer had to care for his younger sister, Nibbs felt she had changed and was not the "housewife" she used to be.

During a row Ms Nibbs admitted seeing other men, taunting her partner by saying: "I have had sex eight times."

The next day she inadvertently predicted her own killing as she left work with the words: "If I'm not in Friday, I might be dead."

Nibbs told the court that he had only meant to "slap her around a bit" and it was only after she was dead that he cut her head off in anger because she "betrayed" him.

But Judge Hilliard rejected Nibbs's claim he only initially "tapped" his wife on the head with a metal bar to get her attention.

Cutting her head off was an act of "grotesque savagery" in revenge for her perceived "treachery", Judge Hilliard added.

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