Chiswick Rough Sleeper Jailed for Eighties Murder

Anthony Kemp found guilty of bludgeoning Christopher Ainscough to death

Anthony Kemp killed a man 37 years ago. Picture: Met Police


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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
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.”

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October 14, 2021


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