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‘Evil monster’ Nicholas Metson from Lincoln who killed wife Holly Bramley and cut her body into more than 200 pieces is jailed for life at Lincoln Crown Court

An ‘evil monster’ who stabbed his wife to death and then cut her body into more than 200 pieces was today (Monday) jailed for life.

Holly Bramley's body parts were found in a number of shopping bags and a bag for life after being dumped in the River Witham in March 2023. Her heartbroken family described it as ‘barbaric and heinous’ act and paid tribute to her as a ‘truly special’ woman with a ‘vibrant spirit’.

Nicholas Metson, 28, of Shuttleworth House, Lincoln, admitted her murder and was told he will have to serve a minimum of 19 years and 316 days behind bars before he can even be considered for release by the parole board.

Jailed: Nicholas Metson will serve a life sentence PHOTO: LINCOLNSHIRE POLICE
Jailed: Nicholas Metson will serve a life sentence PHOTO: LINCOLNSHIRE POLICE

Lincoln Crown Court was told that Metson paid his friend, Joshua Hancock, to help dispose of his wife's remains after he kept them hidden in the couple's flat for nearly a week.

During a sentencing hearing, His Honour Judge Simon Hirst said it was an aggravating feature that Metson never gave a reason for how and why he had killed his wife.

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"Holly's family and friends will never know how and why she was killed," Judge Hirst told Metson.

Judge Hirst said the fact Holly was cut in to 224 parts was also an aggravating feature and could not be explained by his autism.

"The number of parts was far from necessary to remove Holly's parts from your flat,"Judge Hirst added.

Judge Hirst said although the exact events of 17 March were not known - it was clear Holly bit Metson after he put her in a headlock.

"You killed Holly by stabbing her four times," Judge Hirst told Metson. "You then moved her to the bathroom where you dismembered her with a number of tools."

Holly Bramley was killed last year
Holly Bramley was killed last year

Judge Hirst said Metson then went to the village of Bassingham a week later after paying Hancock £100 to help him dispose of Holly's remains.

The Judge said it was clear from family statements that Holly was a "beautiful and kind" young woman whose murder had left a "void" for her loved ones.

Victim impact statements read out in court by Ms Bramley's mother and siblings indicated the 26-year-old triplet had been subjected to "coercive control and manipulation" by the "evil monster" and their marriage had "broken down irretrievably".

The couple had married in 2021 but were on the verge of separating when Metson carried out the murder, the court heard.

Prosecutor Gordon Aspden KC told the judge Lincolnshire Police were called to the couple's flat on 24 March 2023 because of a concern for Ms Bramley's welfare.

Officers visited the home the following day and noticed a strong smell of ammonia and bleach, bloodstained sheets in the bathtub and a towel on the kitchen floor.

There was evidence of recent redecoration and cleaning. The police also spotted a number of large dark stains on the floor in the main bedroom, which later turned out to be Holly's blood, Mr Aspden said.

Metson told officers his wife had been abusive to him, showing them a bite mark on his forearm, and she had left home with a local mental health support group on 19 March.

Police subsequently found Metson had told lies to officers, who later returned to conduct a search of the flat.

"At one point Mr Metson joked she might be hiding under the bed," said Mr Aspden.

The following day a walker "made a grim discovery" when he noticed plastic bags and a 'Bag For Life' floating in the River Witham at Bassingham, one of which contained a human hand, he said.

Police divers recovered 224 remains of Ms Bramley's body but some of her body parts were never recovered, the court heard.

Mr Aspden said it was likely the 26-year-old was stabbed multiple times in the bedroom before being moved to the bathroom where she was dismembered. Her remains were then stored in the kitchen larder before being placed into the bags.

He said the bite mark on Metson's arm "suggests she was being restrained in a headlock".

After murdering his wife, Metson withdrew £50 from her bank account and searched on the internet with questions such as "What benefits do I get if my wife dies" and "Can someone haunt me after they die".

CCTV footage played in court showed Ms Bramley was last seen alive returning to her flat on 17 March.

Further CCTV footage showed Metson wearing a rucksack and using the flat's lift and a Morrisons shopping trolley to move bags from the 14th floor to the ground floor in the early hours of 25 March. They were then placed in Metson's yellow Peugeot car.

In court, Ms Bramley's mother, Annette Bramley, addressed Metson directly, telling him he had condemned her family "to a life sentence of grief".

"The heinous way in which she was murdered and dismembered has left us in such unimaginable pain," she said.

Mrs Bramley said Metson's controlling and coercive behaviour had also left the family unable to see Holly in the years before her death.

The court heard Metson had previous convictions for offences against former partners in 2013, 2016 and 2017.

Metson previously admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by disposing of Ms Bramley's body on 25 March 2023, and was sentenced to four years imprisonment which will run alongside his life sentence.

He originally denied murder but later pleaded guilty when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court last month.

Hancock, also 28, of Walnut Close, Waddington, pleaded guilty to obstructing the Lincolnshire Coroner in the execution of his duty by helping to dispose of Ms Bramley's body, and was jailed for three years and three months.

He was unaware Metson had murdered Ms Bramley but helped to dispose of her body parts after being offered cash by his old school friend during the early hours of 25 March.

Judge Hirst told Hancock it was an aggravating feature that not all of Ms Bramley's body parts had been recovered.

Hancock also admitted two unrelated charges of attempted communication with a child and possessing drugs.

"I am satisfied you were motivated by money," Judge Hirst told Hancock.

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