Judge grants homeless killer’s wish by giving him a life sentence

A homeless killer who confessed to beating a waiter to death 38 years ago because he wanted to end his days in jail has had his wish granted with a life sentence.

Christopher Ainscough, 50, was found dead in his home in Shoot-up Hill Court, Kilburn, northwest London with fatal head injuries.

Anthony Kemp, 59, savagely beat the Irishman to death with a marble ashtray, between 2 and 5 December 1983, but he was never caught.

The career criminal attacked the head waiter after he was invited back to his flat for drinks.

He wiped down the ashtray and door handle to destroy his fingerprints and washed blood from his clothes after he left Mr Ainscough lying on the floor in front of his sofa.

Kemp would never have been caught if he had not thrown stones at a police station window to get the police to come and listen to his confession.

He said: ‘I don’t give a f–k what happens to me, cos I ain’t got long to live… I’m not going to live on the f-king streets, that’s a fact.

‘I’d rather the government f-king look after me… I’d rather do the last few years of my life in bang-up than sleep on the f-king streets’.

Kemp said he knew he had killed Mr Ainscough because he had ‘croaked that death rattle’, the court heard.

Police discovered Mr Ainscough’s blood-covered body in his sitting room after friend’s reported that he had failed to appear for work at the stockbrokers’ firm Grieveson Grant and Co in central London.

Mr Ainscough, originally from Dublin, was gay and had taken men he had just met to his flat for casual sexual encounters in the past, but always respected their wishes if they refused to be intimate with him, the court heard.

Kemp told police he did not remember what Mr Ainscough had done to anger him, and denied the ‘charming’ Irishman had made an advance towards him.

Jailing Kemp for life and ordering he serve at least 15-and-a-half years before he can be considered for parole, Judge Mark Dennis said: ‘This was a wholly unjustified and brutal killing which lead to the death of a harmless and good-natured man who meant you no harm.

‘There can be no doubt that such a dreadful act of violence should have been on your conscience every day since you committed this crime.’

Earlier prosecutor Gareth Patterson said: ‘It is notable that several witnesses revealed to the police that they had warned Mr Ainscough about the risks to his personal safety from inviting to his flat men that he had just met.

‘With hindsight, those warnings were prophetic, as this defendant says he was invited to the flat having just met the victim in a way similar to that described by several witnesses.’

But more than 36 years later, Kemp, who was then homeless confessed to the murder to two police officers after drunkenly throwing stones at Chiswick Police Station at 4:20am on 28 July 2020

Mr Patterson told the court: ‘He said he wanted to admit to something that he did 40 years ago in Cricklewood.

‘He said “I murdered somebody”. When asked “what did you do?” he replied “I f-king done his f-king head in”.

‘He said it was “over an argument, and things”.

Later he added: “It was just an argument and stuff and things got out of hand. I done his, I bashed his brains in.”

‘He said the victim was a stranger, he didn’t know his name, and that it had happened in a block of flats. He later said he believed the victim had been “a waiter or something”.

‘He said the victim was found dead in his flat. He said “his brains had been f-king bashed in, his brains were up the f-king wall”. He said he used a piece of marble to hit him.

‘He later confirmed that the murder had occurred in the early 80s and that he had ‘never been caught for it, obviously.

Kemp added: For 40 years I got away with it and now I’m owning up to it.’

He added: ‘I think we were just drinking pleasantly then, I don’t know I think he said something that gave me the hump and it made me angry, so I see an ashtray on the table and basically I picked it up and whacked him on the head with it.

‘I done that a few times. I do remember it was very messy. I was at his head going bosh bosh bosh.’

He later retracted this confession and said the murderer was actually a man named Terrence Casey who killed himself in 1989.

Mr Patterson continued: ‘The police found no evidence that he murdered Chris Ainscough and enquiries suggest he wasn’t even present in England in 1983, but was living in Ireland at the time of the murder.

‘When considering who to name as the real killer he deliberately chose a dead man, who of course could not dispute what the defendant was saying about him.

‘By his guilty plea the defendant now accepts that what he said about Mr Casey being the killer was of course nonsense.

‘He didn’t have to cause distress to the family of a dead man by accusing him of murder.

‘Not only has he caused 36 years of delay and delayed justice, but allowed himself to be at large and pose a risk to the public.’

Kemp committed a violent burglary at a Maida Vale flat with Casey in 1988, in which they broke into the address and beat a man with bottles.

DNA taken from a cigarette found at the scene of the murder was found be a billion times more likely to have come from Kemp than an unrelated person.

A close friend of Mr Ainscough said in a statement: ‘He was kind, generous, caring, and a family man.

‘He was charming and had the extraordinary ability to get on with anyone and everyone.

‘He absolutely was part of the family.

‘Losing him in the way that we did was something I struggled to come to terms with for many years.

‘They took a very special person from us and went on living their life as if he didn’t matter at all.

‘He had the life that Chris couldn’t.

‘I don’t understand why he did what he did, I’m sure if I had answers, they would never be sufficient to explain what he has done.’

Karim Khalil, for Kemp, said: ‘Since he was in the system, and received advice, everyone done thereafter is to accept responsibility for the killing.

‘He was approached by someone he didn’t know, and invited on false pretences to go to his flat.

‘There would have been no violence, but unfortunately, tragedy struck.’

Kemp only spoke to identify himself, appearing at the Old Bailey dressed in a grey sweatshirt.

He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes as the details of the gruesome murder were revealed to the court.

Kemp, of Thames Road, Chiswick, admitted murder.