Husband who cut wife’s body into more than 200 pieces jailed for life

A husband who cut his wife’s body into more than 200 pieces and then paid a friend £50 to help him dump her remains in a river has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years.

Nicholas Metson, 28, stabbed Holly Bramley, 26, at least four times in March 2023 before dismembering her and storing her body parts for a week in the kitchen larder at the flat they shared in Shuttleworth House, Stamp End, Lincoln.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Metson tried to cover up what he had done by purchasing large amounts of cleaning products and enlisting his school friend Joshua Hancock, 28, to help move the body parts to the River Witham in Bassingham by offering him £50 to help with a “job”.

Ms Bramley’s remains were discovered by a member of the public, who initially thought they belonged to an animal until he noticed a human hand, in the river on the evening of March 25 – more than a week after she was last seen going into her flat on March 17.

Metson initially denied murder before changing his plea to guilty before the trial.

On Monday, he was jailed for life, with a minimum sentence of 19 years and 316 days.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Simon Hirst said that it was “plain” that Ms Bramley was “much loved”.

“It is plain that Holly was a much loved young woman,” he said.

“She is described by her mother as beautiful, kind, and loving.

“It is also plain that Holly’s friends have been left with a void that will never be filled in their lives.”

Judge Hirst added that the case had been “deeply distressing”, and said the investigation had been a “testament” to Lincolnshire Police.

Nicholas Metson court case
Nicholas Metson, 28, has been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court (Lincolnshire Police/PA)

Officers noticed a “strong smell of bleach and ammonia” in the flat, spotted a saw on a towel, bloodstained sheets in their bathroom and a large bloodstain on their bedroom floor.

After discovering what Metson had told them about his wife’s disappearance was a lie, he was arrested and charged with her murder and perverting the course of justice.

A search of his mobile phone revealed Metson had made Google searches including “How to get rid of a dead body”, “What benefits can I get if my wife dies” and “Does God forgive murder”.

In the days following the murder of his wife, Metson used her Facebook account to message her friends and trick them into thinking she was still alive.

He tried to convince them that she had left him and moved to Manchester while sending himself money from her bank account.

Extensive CCTV searches revealed Metson moving a large amount of bags from his flat on the 14th floor into a lift before putting them into his yellow Peugeot in the early hours of March 25.

He had also sent a message to Hancock, of Walnut Close in Waddington, in the early hours of March 25 offering him money in return for help with a “job”.

Hancock was arrested on April 5 and charged with obstructing a coroner.

Hancock admitted obstructing a coroner, as well as unrelated offences of attempting sexual communication with a child and drug offences.

He was jailed for three years and three months in total.

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