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Man admits 1983 unsolved Cricklewood murder

|News, Violent crime

A homeless man has admitted murdering a stranger after an argument some 37 years ago.

Anthony Kemp, 58, bludgeoned 50-year-old head waiter Christopher Ainscough inside his own home in Cricklewood in December 1983. 

The pair had met on a night out before Mr Ainscough invited Kemp back to his home in the early hours between 3 and 5 December 1983. His body was later discovered by police officers who went to check on him when he did not turn up to work at the Grieveson Grant and Co restaurant in the city. 

The murder weapon is believed to have been a marble ashtray weighing 2.4kg which was found at the scene. Mr Ainscough died as a result of a fractured skull and a cerebral laceration. 

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

On July 28 last year Kemp attended Chiswick police station and began to throw stones at the window before an officer came out to speak with him just after 4am. 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.” 

Today (Friday, 24 September 2021) Kemp pleaded guilty to one count of murder at the Old Bailey. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, 13 October at the same court.

Angela Moriarty, from the CPS, 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.”

Notes to editors

  • Anthony Kemp (DOB: 13.5.1962) is of no fixed address. He was staying in and around the Chiswick area in the London borough of Hounslow. 
  • Angela Moriarty is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the pan-London Homicide unit in CPS London North.


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