Killer used pieces of wood to ‘batter’ victim of 1980 Kensington murder

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John Paul confessed to 1980 murder of Anthony Bird after strolling into a Hammersmith police station last year.

A brutal killer who confessed last year to strangling a barman to death in 1980 before later denying it, has been convicted of murder.

Anthony Bird, 42, was found naked with his hands, ankles and arms bound at his flat in Bentley Court, Kensington Square 42 years ago.

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John Paul confessed to the 1980 murder of Anthony Bird after walking into a Hammersmith police station last year.John Paul confessed to the 1980 murder of Anthony Bird after walking into a Hammersmith police station last year.
John Paul confessed to the 1980 murder of Anthony Bird after walking into a Hammersmith police station last year. | Creative Commons

The murder remained unsolved until last year when John Paul walked into Hammersmith police station on May 5 last year and confessed to the ruthless killing.

The 61-year-old told police he bound Mr Bird with a cord and battered him with pieces of wood after Bird had approached him in the street and offered him money for sex.

Despite his denied confession, Paul, of Maida Vale, denied murder but was convicted at the Old Bailey on Monday October 24 and has been remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing.

The BBC reported jurors were told Paul told police: “He (Bird) approached me and just spoke to me and just talked me into having sex with him.

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“He took me back to his place. I tied him with cord. I think the cord was black, I’m not sure. I tied him with a cord, his ankles, his hands, his arms, on the bed naked.

“There was a piece of wood. I used the piece of wood to batter him.”

The court was told that officers then began looking into unsolved killings around the location and time Paul had mentioned in his confession and he was later arrested.

John Price, KC, prosecuting said that Bird, a barman at the Railway Tap pub, lived alone and would frequently pick up men in the street and pay them for sex, reported the Daily Mail.

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When police responded to concerns of the pub landlord they entered his home on June 6 and found the flat “ransacked”.

“They went into the bedroom. On the bed, they found the lifeless body of Tony Bird. He was naked. He was lying on his side. His knees were tucked up and his legs were crossed.

“There was black electrical flex bound tightly around his left wrist and around his left ankle. There was also the mark of a cord around his right wrist.”

A post-mortem in 1980 found multiple sites of blunt force injury and the cause of death was believed to be “manual strangulation”.

Fingerprints taken from the scene at the time were later found to matched Paul but despite the overwhelming evidence and earlier confession, Paul denied murder.

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