Man admits killing Kilburn waiter to end his days 'banged up' court hears

Christopher Ainscough

Christopher Ainscough was found dead in his Kilburn flat in 1983 - Credit: Met

Anthony Kemp confessed to bludgeoning a man to death in Kilburn nearly 40 years ago in a bid to end his days “in bang-up”, a court has heard.

Christopher Ainscough was found dead inside his home in Windmill Court, Shoot-Up Hill, in December 1983.

Kemp was 21 when he attacked the head waiter with a marble ashtray after they met on a night out in December 1983.

Last month, Kemp, now 59, pleaded guilty to murder and appeared for sentencing at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC said it was “a particularly brutal murder”.

Dublin-born Mr Ainscough, 50, had invited Kemp back to his home in the early hours of the morning and was on the sofa when he was attacked.

His body was discovered by police who went to check on him when he did not turn up to work at a restaurant in the City.

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He had suffered devastating head injuries, including a fractured skull from being hit with a marble ashtray weighing 2.4kg, which was found at the scene.

Mr Ainscough was gay and had been warned about inviting people he had just met to his flat in the past, the court heard.

The original murder investigation into Mr Ainscough’s death was closed in 1985 after no leads were found.

On July 28 last year, the cold case was reopened when Kemp turned up at Chiswick police station in west London and began to throw stones at the window.

An officer came out to speak to him just after 4am when Kemp told him he had murdered someone 40 years ago, saying he had “bashed his brains in” over an argument.

He said: “I’m not going to live on the f****** streets, that’s a fact. I’d rather the Government look after me.

“I’d rather do the last few years of my life in bang-up than sleep on the streets.”

He added: “For 40 years I got away with it and now I’m owning up to it.”

He told police that he did not know what had happened to spark the row.

Describing the attack, he said the victim had been “sparko” after the first blow and he was “at his head going bosh, bosh, bosh”.

Before leaving the flat, he spent five minutes using a cloth to wipe down everything he had touched, including the ashtray, a glass, and door handle.

Kemp, who was previously an alcoholic and heroin-user, retracted his confession three days later after being released on bail.

He blamed the killing on his accomplice in an aggravated burglary in 1988, who had committed suicide in prison.

But police matched his DNA to that left on a cigarette butt in an ashtray on a coffee table in the victim’s sitting room.

The court heard Kemp had previous convictions for burglary and possession of a knuckle duster in 1980.

In 1988, Kemp smashed up a flat in Northumbria which he shared with a girlfriend who said he had a “violent temper”.

He was jailed for seven years for carrying out an aggravated burglary the same year.

Kemp and his accomplice, who disguised themselves as chefs and wore tights over their heads, forced their way into their victim’s flat and punched and hit him.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, a close friend of the victim described him as like 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.

“He was charming and had the extraordinary ability to get on with anybody and everybody.

“What someone did to my beautiful friend was devastating.”

Kemp took the life of a “very special person” as if it did not matter then “walked free” for almost 40 years, living the life her friend should have had, she said.

She added: “The brutality of what was done has haunted me.”

Judge Mark Dennis QC adjourned the sentencing until Thursday.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Pennink, PA