A homeless man has been jailed for life after confessing to a “brutal” murder that took place nearly 40 years ago.
Anthony Kemp was 21 when he attacked Christopher Ainscough, 50, with a marble ashtray after they met one evening out in December 1983.
The original police investigation was closed in 1985 due to lack of clues, but last year, Kemp, now 59, confessed to having decades-old killings as a way to get off the streets.
Ainscough’s body was discovered inside his apartment in Kilburn, north-west London, after he failed to take up his job as head waiter at a restaurant in the city.
He had suffered devastating injuries, including a skull fracture, after being hit with the 2.4 kg ashtray – which was found on the spot.
On 28 July last year, the cold case was resumed when Kemp showed up at a police station in Chiswick in west London around 1 p.m.
Kemp told an officer he had “shot.” [Mr Ainscough’s] brains in “over an argument.
“I’m not going to live on the f ****** streets, that’s a fact. I’d rather the government take care of me,” he said.
“I prefer the last few years of my life in bang-up than sleeping on the street.”
He added: “For 40 years I got rid of it and now I own it.”
He said he did not know what had spawned the row, but before leaving the victim’s apartment, he had spent five minutes using a cloth to wipe everything he had touched, including the ashtray, a glass and a door handle.
Three days later, he withdrew the confession after being released on bail and tried to blame it on an accomplice, but police matched his DNA with what was left on a cigarette butt in Ainscough’s living room.
Kemp pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 15 and a half years in the Old Bailey.
The court had heard that Dublin-born Ainscough, 50, had invited Kemp back to his Kilburn home and was lying on the couch when he was attacked.
Judge Mark Dennis QC told Kemp: “This was a completely unjustified, brutal murder that led to the death of a harmless, well-respected, good-natured man who had been friends with you and caused you no harm.”
The court also heard that Kemp had previously been convicted of burglary and possession of a muffler in 1980 and had served time in prison for aggravated burglary in 1988.
In a statement on the consequences for victims read to court, a close friend of Mr. Ainscough him as one of her family.
The elderly woman, who asked not to be named, said: “Chris was a kind, generous, caring and funny man. We just adopted him.”
Kemp killed a “very special person” as if it did nothing, then “went free” for nearly 40 years and lived the life her friend should have had, she said.
She added: “The brutality that was done has haunted me.”
Detective Maria Green of Scotland Yard said: “Anthony Kemp kept his secret for almost 40 years, despite knowing that Christopher’s friends and family would have been despairing that the person who had violently attacked him was at large. foot.
“He has finally done the right thing and confessed to his crime and will now face the consequences of his actions.”