A HOMELESS man has admitted brutally murdering an Irishman with a marble ashtray in London during an argument almost 38 years ago.
The original investigation into the murder of Christopher Ainscough, 50, was closed in 1985 after no leads were found.
However at the Old Bailey on Friday, 58-year-old Anthony Kemp admitted murdering the Dubliner.
Angela Moriarty from the Crown Prosecution Service said she hoped the result would bring closure to those who knew Mr Ainscough, as continued attempts to trace his family in Ireland have yet to yield results.
After meeting on a night out, Mr Ainscough invited Kemp back to his home in the Cricklewood area in the early hours between December 3 and 5, 1983.
The Irishman's body was later discovered by police during a welfare check after he failed to turn up to his job as head waiter at the Grieveson Grant and Co restaurant in the city.
The murder weapon was believed to have been a 2.4kg marble ashtray that was found at the scene.
It was determined that Mr Ainscough had died as a result of a fractured skull and a cerebral laceration.
The case was closed in 1983, however police got a break on July 28, 2020.
Just after 4am, Kemp attended Chiswick police station in west London and began to throw stones at the window.
When an officer came out to speak to him, Kemp confessed to the murder, adding: "You know what, I'm homeless, and I'm not going to sleep on the streets."
Kemp later retracted his confession and tried to blame someone else for the murder, but DNA linked him to the crime scene.
"This case remained unsolved for more than 35 years before Anthony Kemp turned up at a police station to confess to a murder," said prosecutor Moriarty.
"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."
Kemp will be sentenced at the Old bailey on Wednesday, October 13.