Man confesses to Chiswick Police an unsolved murder from 37 years ago

Image above: Anthony Kemp; photograph Metropolitan Police

Anthony Kemp, 58, admitted to Chiswick Police that he had bludgeoned a man to death with an ashtray 37 years previously. He pleaded guilty to murder at the Old Bailey on Friday.

Kemp turned up at Chiswick Police Station on 28 July last year in the middle of the night and finding it closed but seeeing a light on inside, threw stones at the windows to attract their attention until an officer came down to investigate just after 4.00 am.

Kemp then confessed to the murder, telling the officer:

“You know what, I’m homeless, and I’m not going to sleep on the streets.”

He admitted murdering Christopher Ainscough, a 50-year-old head waiter who he had met on a night out, in December 1983. Mr Ainscough had invited Kemp back to his home in the early hours between 3 and 5 December. They had an argument and Kemp hit him with a heavy glass ashtray.

His body was later discovered by police officers who went to check on Mr Ainscough when he did not turn up to work at the Grieveson Grant and Co restaurant in the city. The original murder inquiry was closed in 1985 after no leads were found.

Angela Moriarty from the Crown Prosecution Service said:

“This case remained unsolved for more than 35 years before Anthony Kemp turned up at a police station to confess to a murder. He later retracted the confession and went on to blame another man, who had been dead for some years, before finally admitting the murder.

“In his initial police interview Kemp described how he had met the victim, went back to his flat where they drank and that the victim had said something that angered him. He saw an ashtray on the table and beat the victim on the head with it. In fact, this was a brutal and sustained attack, fracturing the skull of Mr Ainscough.

“The prosecution case included body worn footage which captured Kemp confessing to the murder. Further DNA analysis after this confession meant that we were also able to link Kemp to the crime scene by way of a cigarette butt left at the address.

“Mr Ainscough was a single man who lived alone. He had moved to London from Ireland some 30 years before his death. Although we have never been able to trace any of his family, I hope this conviction provides some sense of closure to all those who knew Mr Ainscough.”

Kemp will be sentenced on Wednesday, 13 October at the Old Bailey.

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