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Killer sentenced to life – 42 years after crime

|News, Violent crime

A 61-year-old man has today been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years for the killing of a man in 1980.

John Paul, 61 of Ladbroke Grove, Kensington was convicted of the murder of Anthony Bird, 41, who was known to his family as Tony, on Monday 24 October. 

Tony Bird was found dead at his property in Kensington Gardens Square, W2, on the afternoon of 6 June 1980. Police officers discovered Tony’s body, bound by cable. There were a number of marks and bruises on his body. The property had been ransacked and electrical items and alcohol had been stolen.

His murder remained unsolved for more than 40 years, until John Paul walked into Hammersmith Police Station on 5 May 2021 and confessed to his killing. Despite this confession he pleaded not guilty but was convicted by a jury of murder at the Old Bailey in October.

Daniel Caan, Senior Crown Prosecutor said: “John Paul has been sentenced to life today for the murder of Anthony Bird in June 1980.

“Tony, as he was known to his family, was brutally attacked in his own home, bound with a cable, beaten with a stick and killed. 

“For 42 years his family have not known who was responsible or received any justice for this brutal crime until now.

“On the day Tony invited John Paul to his room he would not have known that Paul saw this as an opportunity to rob and then kill him.

“When Paul walked into the police station four decades after the crime was committed, he initially admitted his crime. In court, he later denied his actions. 

“Despite his denials, he was found guilty by the jury and will now serve his sentence.

“I hope, now that Paul has been sentenced, this provides some comfort to Tony’s family, and that they feel justice has been served. 

“I’d also like to thank all those who’ve worked so hard to ensure that Paul was convicted for his crime.”

Notes to editors

  • Daniel Caan is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the pan-London Homicide Unit
  • John Paul, 61, DOB: 19/05/1961 was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 19 years for the murder of Anthony Bird on 6 June 1980.

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