Anthony Kemp found guilty of bludgeoning Christopher Ainscough to death
Anthony Kemp killed a man 37 years ago. Picture: Met Police
A 59-year-old man who was sleeping rough in Chiswick has been jailed after being found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey.
Anthony Kemp was sentenced to 15 and a half years for killing 50-year-old Christopher Ainscough in 1983. He beat his victim to death with an ashtray after he angered him with a remark which, nearly forty years on, he can no longer remember.
He had pleaded guilty to Mr Ainscough murder at an earlier hearing on Friday, 24 September.
Police officers went to check on him when he did not turn up to work for his job as head waiter at the Grieveson Grant and Co restaurant in the city. The victim’s body was found inside his flat in Shoot-Up Hill, NW2 after the police forced entry on 5 December 1983 – he had suffered a significant head injury. An investigation was launched but no suspect could be identified.
However, in February 2021, Kemp turned up in the middle of the night at Chiswick Police Station and threw stones at the windows to attract the attention of officer inside. When they came out to see what was happening Kemp confessed to the murder.
He later told officers that he had met Christopher by chance in the early hours of the morning at a date earlier in December 1983. He had been out at a nightclub and was walking home when he met Christopher – they decided to go for a drink in Christopher’s flat.
Christopher Ainscough was bludgeoned to death with an ashtray
After being there for around an hour, Kemp stated that Christopher said something that made him angry, although he couldn’t recall what it was. He then picked up a stone ashtray and hit Christopher over the head several times.
After the attack, Kemp left the flat and went home. He washed his clothes - which had some blood on them – and thereby destroyed evidence of his crime.
Following his confession, forensic examination was carried out on items that had been retained as part of the original investigation. On one of them, a cigarette butt found at the flat, was a conclusive DNA match for Kemp.
Despite initially trying to retract his confession, the weight of evidence, including footage from the bodycam of the officer he spoke to in Chiswick, left Kemp with little choice but to plead guilty.
Detective Inspector Maria Green, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “No unsolved murder investigation is ever closed and this case demonstrates that despite the passing of nearly four decades, justice can be attained for the family and friends of those who have been killed.
“Anthony Kemp kept his secret for nearly 40 years, despite knowing that Christopher’s friends and family would have been distraught that the person who had violently attacked him remained at large. He has finally done the right thing and confessed to his crime and now will face the consequences of his actions.”
A close friend of Mr Ainscough who knew him for around 17 years, said, “Losing Chris in the way that we did was something that I have struggled to come to terms with over the years. He did not die of natural causes, nor from an accident, but at the hands of someone to whom he meant nothing. They took a very special person from us and then went on living their life like it mattered not at all.
“Our lives were all brighter for having Chris in them, and his loss has left a hole in our lives that can never be filled. I think of my friend often and miss him as much now as I did the day he was taken.”
Value Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
October 14, 2021