A jealous man who decapitated his long-term partner and flushed the head down the toilet at their east London flat has been sentenced to life in prison and must serve a minimum of 21 years.
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 attacked Ms Nibbs with an iron bar in April 2014, the Old Bailey heard. He told jurors he only meant to “slap her around a bit” but she died in a struggle while he was trying to cram a metal bar in her mouth.
He said he could tell she was dead from the way her eyes had “rolled over in her head”, but the court heard evidence from a doctor that she was still alive at this pint.
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.
During the trial, Crispin Aylet QC said:
“In the end you chopped her head off and smashed it up and flushed it down the lavatory because she betrayed you”
“Bearing in mind you spent a large amount of your life with this woman, the mother of your two childre, with whom you spent many happy years, how do you feel?” he asked.
Mr Nibbs replied:
“I feel terrible. Still, she let me down. She betrayed me. When she died that was me finished. Me, myself I’m dead because I did not see a way out for me. I cut off her head because I’ m finished, I ‘m dead.. She was going to leave me anyway, so what can I say.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Photo of the victim
Source: Metropolitan Police/BBC