Thomas Nutt, who murdered his wife Dawn Walker on their wedding night and stuffed her dead body into a suitcase, has been jailed at Bradford Crown Court for life with a minimum term of 21 years
A man who killed his wife on their wedding night and stuffed her body into a suitcase has been jailed for life.
Thomas Nutt, 46, was found guilty of murdering Dawn Walker, 52, after a trial at Bradford Crown Court.
Nutt strangled Ms Walker just hours after they were married and stored her body in a cupboard before dumping it in bushes behind their home in Shirley Grove, Lightcliffe, near Halifax.
He was sentenced on Friday to a minimum of 21 years in prison.
Judge Jonathan Rose, sentencing, said: "It remains a mystery why you killed this woman who you had married only hours before you took her life.
"The impact of the sudden and violent death of this woman, at what should have been a time of very great happiness, will inevitably be substantial on those closest to her."
Ms Walker was last seen alive by the taxi driver who took her and Nutt back to their home following their wedding on 27 October 2021.
Her body was discovered four days later in a suitcase behind their home.
The court heard on the night she died Nutt, who had a history of violence towards women, had punched and strangled Ms Walker.
He then hid her body in a cupboard before going on a two-day holiday to Skegness alone.
While he was away he sent a text message to one of Ms Walker's daughters pretending to be her mother in an act of "deception", the judge said.
When he returned to West Yorkshire he stuffed her body into the suitcase and dumped it in a field. CCTV footage played in court showed Nutt dragging the suitcase along a gravel path before coming back to cover over the wheel marks.
He then rang police on 31 October to tell them Ms Walker had gone missing and then helped to carry out a search for her, before her body was discovered.
Nutt later confessed to killing Ms Walker but denied murder.
Judge Rose said while he did not believe Nutt intended to kill Ms Walker, but that he did mean to cause her "very serious injury", adding: "Dawn Walker died because you are a bully, used to getting your own way with women, used to controlling and manipulating women and used to using your considerable size advantage to inflict violence on women if you considered it necessary to do so."
In a statement read out in court, Ms Walker's eldest daughter Codie said: "There are no words to describe how it feels for us every single day, waking up knowing what this person did to her, it is truly heart breaking for each and every one of us."
"I pray he is never allowed to do this to another family."
Ms Walker's sister Lisa said Nutt manipulated his victim and isolated her from family for three years "before his ungodly hands took her away from us forever".
Lisa Walker told the court: "I mourn for my sister who suffered so much and felt like she had nobody to turn to because this man made her feel worthless."
Also…Judge's cutting words to 'bully' who murdered wife on wedding day
Such a terribly sad story.
I know, from personal experience, that it can be really hard to help a loved one in an abusive relationship.