Homeless man confesses to murder after 40 years to escape life on the streets

A homeless man confessed to bludgeoning a waiter to death almost 40-years ago because he wanted to end his days in prison rather than on the streets, a court has heard.

Anthony Kemp was 21 when he attacked Christopher Ainscough with a marble ashtray after they met on a night out in December 1983.

In July last year he turned up at Chiswick Police station in west London in order to make a confession.

The Old Bailey heard how he arrived at the police station in the early hours and began throwing stones at the window, before an officer came out to speak to him.

‘Bashed his brains in’

Gareth Patterson, prosecuting, told the court Kemp had admitted to the officer he had murdered someone 40 years ago, saying he had “bashed his brains in” over an argument.

He said Kemp had told him: “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.”

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.

Attacked on the sofa

Dublin-born Mr Ainscough, 50, had invited Kemp back to his home in Kilburn north-west London 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.

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.

Last month, Kemp, now 59, pleaded guilty to murder and will be sentenced on Thursday by Judge Mark Dennis QC.

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