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Man jailed for life for murdering wife and dismembering body in Lincoln

A man 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 stabbed Holly Bramley, 26, at least four times in March 2023 before dismembering her body and storing her remains for a week in the kitchen larder at the flat they shared in Stamp End, Lincoln.

Metson, 28, tried to cover up the killing by buying large amounts of cleaning products and enlisting his school friend Joshua Hancock to help move the body parts to the River Witham in Bassingham by offering him £50 to help with a “job”, Lincoln crown court heard.

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

The court heard some of Bramley’s remains, including parts of her heart, were never recovered.

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 Hirst said it was “plain” that 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.”

Before her remains were found and while Bramley was missing, Lincolnshire police attended the flat they shared, with Metson telling them his wife had left their home on 19 March with two members of a mental health crisis team.

Officers noticed a “strong smell of bleach and ammonia” in the flat and 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 he 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”.

He had also sent a message to Hancock, 28, of Waddington, in the early hours of 25 March offering him money in return for help with a “job”.

Hancock was arrested on 5 April and charged with obstructing a coroner. He admitted the charge, as well as unrelated offences of attempting sexual communication with a child and drug offences. He was jailed for three years and three months.