TheOptimizationIdiot - 2:26 am on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)
... maybe googlebot will stop crawling this page expecting it to come back if it gets a "removed intentionally" message.
In my experience they usually stop crawling it and remove it from the index sooner with a 410.
But I wonder if this action will do me any good on google's eyes, because the unnatural links will still be out there, just now they are linking to a 410ed page.
They have said repeatedly broken links to your site don't hurt, so by "breaking the links" intentionally I would guess it will be interpreted as you intend algorithmically, the only other real options you have are to get all the links removed or disavow them.
I'd personally go the route you're talking about first as long as it does not impact visitors (in other words if no one clicks on the links to the page) and see what happens, then if necessary I'd try to have the links removed or disavow them as a "last resort", but my personal opinion is if I was writing an algo and the links to a page were broken and those links were not updated it would seem silly to count those against a site, because if I did it would likely open up some loopholes for negative SEO by doing things along those lines.
The one thing I would definitely not do in your situation is redirect the page to a new location.