A man who beheaded his estranged wife before crushing her skull and flushing it down a toilet was today found guilty of her murder.
Crane driver Dempsey Nibbs, 69, killed Judith Nibbs, 60, at their flat in Hoxton, east London after she told him she was having sex with at least eight other men.
He had also discovered chat records from Skype which showed how she had flashed her breasts to an online suitor.
During a row on April 10, 2014, he battered the Meals On Wheels worker over the head with an iron bar for ruining his plans to retire by the sea.
Mrs Nibbs, who had two children with Nibbs, could have still been alive when he beheaded her because he could not stand the sight of her face, the Old Bailey heard.
Nibbs had admitted killing Mrs Nibbs but denied murder, despite having no mental health issues. He showed no emotion as a jury today found him guilty of the charge and he is due to be sentenced in the coming weeks.
During the trial, the court heard how Nibbs had become enraged after his vivacious partner of 30 years taunted him as their relationship fell apart by saying she had been seeing other men.
The fatal attack came just two days after mother-of-five Mrs Nibbs predicted her own killing after an earlier row, chillingly telling her colleagues as she left work: ‘If I’m not in Friday, I might be dead.’
The pair had never married, but regarded one another as husband and wife and she had taken his last name.
The court heard how Nibbs knocked her out with an iron bar before cutting her head off, and when he realised the head was took big to flush away, he smashed it up with a hammer as he attempted to dispose of the pieces in the lavatory.
Afterwards, Nibbs wrote a note to his 30-year-old son Kirk, who lived with the couple, and called 999 to say police would find two bodies at the property. They also had a daughter, Lauren, who was autistic and later went to live in a care home.
A police officer broke down the door when he saw Mrs Nibbs’ headless body through the letterbox and bravely grappled a shotgun and knife from Nibbs as he attempted to stab himself in the bathroom.
Nibbs, suffered from prostrate and bladder cancer and had to wear a colostomy bag, said he killed his wife because he thought she was a ‘snake’ but jurors heard he had shown no signs of mental illness.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told an Old Bailey jury that the couple’s relationship soured in the spring of 2014 as Nibbs suspected his wife of having affairs, and that he had begun drinking heavily after his cancer diagnosis.
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.
Nibbs had moved into the spare room and an ‘undercurrent of violence emerged’ as the relationship fell apart.
In early March, Nibbs opened his own bank account after discovering she had transferred £20,000 out of their joint account into her account in May 2012.
Later that month, while Mrs Nibbs was visiting her sister in Preston, he asked Kirk to investigate her computer for evidence she was having an affair. He found videos of her blowing kisses and saying ‘I love you’ as well as sexually explicit pictures which he stored in a file entitled ‘Mum Slut’.
Nibbs searched his wife’s drawers and discovered bank transfer slips from their joint account to one in Morocco in the name of a close male friend and neighbour with whom she had gone on a road trip to Rabat in 2013, and stayed at his family home.
She had told Nibbs she was visiting Europe with old schoolfriends but then refused to show him any photos of the trip.
An examination of her computer was to show that she went on to exchange sexually explicit messages on Skype with another man called Khalid in Morocco, including chat logs which revealed she had flashed him images of her breasts.
Mrs Nibbs had confided in her sister and a colleague at Meals On Wheels that her husband – who was regarded as a model employee at Balfour Beatty – had threatened to kill her and grabbed her by the throat.
During a row on April 7, Mrs Nibbs, who was originally from Kirkham, near Preston, Lancashire, admitted seeing other men, taunting Nibbs by saying: ‘I have had sex eight times.’
The following day she made the grim prediction of her death to her colleagues at the Hackney Council-run meal delivery service.
Three days later, Nibbs said he confronted his wife in the front room of their home, starting a row when she asked: ‘What do you want’ in what he described as ‘an aggressive manner.’
Nibbs said he had armed himself with a metal bar in case there was a struggle because his illness had left him too frail to defend himself.
‘When I confront her I wouldn’t let her get the better of me,’ he had told the court, claiming he took a heavy metal bar with him ‘to get her attention, like a threat.’
He added: ‘I went up to her, she said ‘What do you want?’ and I hit her.
‘I just tapped her on the head, I tapped her to get her attention.’
Nibbs claimed that his wife then lunged for his stomach area and yanked on his colostomy bag. He said he put the metal bar in her mouth to stop her screaming so they didn’t disturb the neighbours.
Nibbs, of the Charles Estate in Hoxton, told jurors he had not meant to kill his partner when he went to confront her over money taken from their bank account which he took as ‘proof’ of her infidelity.
He said 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 the jury rejected his claim of self-defence and found him guilty of murder.
Nibbs had calmly told the jury how he said he dragged his wife into the hallway where there was ‘less clutter’ and laid her on a tarpaulin bag.
‘That’s when I started to cut her head off. I used a knife. The knife was n the kitchen,’ said softly-spoken Nibbs. ‘To be honest with you, if the toilet was big enough it was in my mind to take the head and flush it down the toilet.
‘It wasn’t big enough. That’s why I had to smash it up.
Nibbs said he scooped up the pieces, put them in a bag and placed them next to his wife’s body.
He said he intended to kill himself and got in a bath with a shotgun after calling the police.
But the gun misfired and he was stabbing himself in the chest when the police arrived.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett, QC, said: ‘Quite why the defendant decapitated Judith and then disposed of her head is not entirely clear but it may well be that he did it out of pure hatred at the sight of his wife’s face.’
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams of Met Police, who led the investigation, said: ‘Dempsey Nibbs believed his wife was having an affair and used this misplaced jealously to launch a ferocious and brutal attack on Judith.
‘I am pleased that the court has found Dempsey Nibbs guilty and I can only hope this verdict can bring some closure to Judith’s family.