Moment Killer confessed to the bondage murder of a naked Kensington bartender 42 years ago

A killer who confessed to the slave murder of a bartender found naked and tied up at his Kensington flat 42 years ago has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.

John Paul, 61, beat 42-year-old Anthony Bird with sticks before leaving him unconscious and handcuffed at his home in Bentley Court, Kensington Square, in June 1980.

Paul entered Hammersmith Police Station on May 5 last year and reported his horrific crime to an officer.

When asked what he had done, he simply replied: “Murder”.

Paul denied murder, despite the confession, but was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey on October 24.

Anthony Bird, 42, was beaten with sticks of wood before being left unconscious and handcuffed at his home in Bentley Court, Kensington Square in June 1980

Anthony Bird, 42, was beaten with sticks of wood before being left unconscious and handcuffed at his home in Bentley Court, Kensington Square in June 1980

Anthony Bird, 42, was beaten with sticks of wood before being left unconscious and handcuffed at his home in Bentley Court, Kensington Square in June 1980

The judge, Ms. Justice Cheema-Grubb, jailed Paul for life and ordered him to serve a minimum of 19 years in prison.

The jury heard details of the confession during the two-week trial.

When asked what happened, he told an officer: “I see a man, he came up to me and just talked to me and persuaded me to have sex with him.

“He took me back to his seat.

“I tied him with a string. I think the wire was black, I’m not sure.

“I tied him with string, his ankles, his hands, his arms, naked on the bed.

John Paul, 61, entered Hammersmith Police Station on May 5 last year and reported his horrifying crime to an officer

John Paul, 61, entered Hammersmith Police Station on May 5 last year and reported his horrifying crime to an officer

John Paul, 61, entered Hammersmith Police Station on May 5 last year and reported his horrific crime to an officer

“There was a piece of wood, a piece of wood, I used the piece of wood to hit him.

‘Knocked him unconscious.’

Officials were investigating whether there was a record of an unsolved murder of a man reporting around the same time and place as Paul, the court heard.

The unsolved murder of Mr Bird was deemed “worth a look” and that afternoon Paul was arrested for murder.

The 61-year-old was admitted to Hillingdon Hospital the next day while police investigated.

John Paul, 61, beat 42-year-old Anthony Bird with sticks before strangling him at his home in Bentley Court, Kensington Square (pictured) in June 42 years ago

John Paul, 61, beat 42-year-old Anthony Bird with sticks before strangling him at his home in Bentley Court, Kensington Square (pictured) in June 42 years ago

John Paul, 61, beat 42-year-old Anthony Bird with sticks before strangling him at his home in Bentley Court, Kensington Square (pictured) in June 42 years ago

Judge Cheema-Grubb said, “Mr. Bird’s friends say he has a habit of having sex with strangers he met on the street.

‘He met you, a 19-year-old walking the streets who had recently left a borstal. I’m sure you intended to steal it.

“You were aware he was after sex, but you had no intention of getting involved.

‘He took off his clothes and you flexed him at his request.

“He was now defenseless and vulnerable. To make sure he didn’t scream for help, they hit him on the head until he was unconscious.

“His death would have been caused by being rendered unconscious in that position with his knees up and his airway trapped.

“Mr. Bird has approached you looking for an intimate connection and you have decided that you can embrace and take advantage of it.

“I consider the tremendous burden that having a mental illness has placed on you for at least 20 years and will continue to impact your life and the way you endure the punishment.”

The judge said she was obliged to consider what the verdict would have been if it had been handed down in 2022 and what it would have been if he had been sentenced 20 years ago.

Paul denied murder despite the confession, but was convicted by an Old Bailey jury (pictured) last month

Paul denied murder despite the confession, but was convicted by an Old Bailey jury (pictured) last month

Paul denied murder despite the confession, but was convicted by an Old Bailey jury (pictured) last month

Paul’s defense attorney Tama Adkien said he had shown as much remorse as possible in the face of his schizophrenia.

In a victim impact statement read in court, Gillian Bird, Mr Bird’s sister-in-law, said: “I was married for 63 years to Tony’s brother Richard who sadly passed away in November 2021.

“My family and I vividly remember hearing about the murder.

“I remember the family were at the local village fete when a tanner came out for Richard.

“Two police officers came to tell us that he had been murdered, but they didn’t know who was responsible.

“We were shocked and traumatized by the circumstances of his death at the time.

“We were never told how he was murdered.

“Tony’s mother, Pauline, was so shocked and upset that she couldn’t bury him for six months.

“It was awful for her to have to wait six months to put him to rest. We never had a reason to back then.

“Pauline died six years later. She was always a fighter and we have no doubt that her death was hastened by the fact that Tony had been murdered. They were always in frequent contact.

“Tony was a distant relative living alone in London, but it was still difficult knowing his life had ended that way, and made worse because we never had an answer as to what really happened to him.

“Now, 42 years later, we can have peace of mind knowing that the perpetrator of this heinous crime has been found guilty and convicted.

“Having seen Mr. Paul in the dock, we wish to say that we have no hatred and pity for him and have some sympathy for his current circumstances.”

“Mr. Bird lived alone in that apartment,” said John Price, who led the prosecution at the trial.

“He was a homosexual man and was known among his friends to frequently pick up men on the street and pay them for sex.

“His neighbor, from whom the police withdrew a statement during the initial investigation, spoke of frequent male visitors to his apartment.”

Mr Bird was in Queensway on June 3, 1980 when he ran into some friends and told them that ‘he had his eye on a black boy’ before following him.

“By those who knew him, Tony Bird was never seen alive again,” the prosecutor said.

Mr Bird was working shifts at the Railway Tap Pub that week and the pub keeper was concerned when he didn’t show up.

Police were finally called on June 6 after an employee received no response when dispatched to knock on Mr Bird’s door.

“Police officers went into the apartment this Friday and knocked on the door as well. Again there was no reply,” said Mr. Price.

“The front door was securely locked and out of apparent fear for Mr Bird’s safety they had to use a sledgehammer to pry it open.

“In the living room of the apartment, the curtains were drawn all the way. The room was in a state of disrepair, as if it had been ransacked.

“There was a dresser with nothing on it, although they noticed that there were patterns in the dust trails that indicated items had been…recently moved.

‘They went into the bedroom. They found Tony Bird’s lifeless body on the bed.

“He was naked. He was on his side. His knees were drawn up and his legs were crossed.

“A black electrical cord was tied around his left wrist and ankle. There was also the sign of a cord around his right wrist.

“There were numerous spots and obvious bruising on some parts of his body.”

A post-mortem in 1980 revealed multiple blunt trauma sites on Mr. Bird’s body, including bruises to his head, jaw, chest, thighs, and the base of his penis, and a fractured neck bone.

Pathologist Rufus Crompton found that the injuries were consistent with the use of ‘wooden clubs’.

dr Crompton also believed the cause of death was “manual strangulation,” but that was not the case.

The court heard that fingerprints taken at the crime scene decades ago, which had not previously been matched, matched Paul’s fingerprints.

Paul was charged with murder on May 27 last year.

Paul, from Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, west London, denied but was convicted of murder.

Porter and part-time barman Anthony Bird, 42, was found naked with his wrists tied at his flat in Kensington Gardens Square, west London, on June 6, 1980.

His murder remained a mystery for 41 years until John Paul, 61, confessed to police last year that he “hit” him with a log.

Paul, from Maida Vale, west London, denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter at his trial at the Old Bailey.

It has been claimed that his confession to the murder is unreliable and that even if he is responsible, he has no intention of causing any real serious harm to Mr Bird.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated half a day before finding Paul guilty of murder.

On Friday, Ms Cheema-Grubb jailed him at the Old Bailey for life with a minimum sentence of 19 years.

She said: “It was relentless and motivated by a desire to take what wasn’t yours.

“I have no doubt that this was a murder committed for profit. You’ve decided he’s a target you can exploit.”

Previously, John Price KC said Mr Bird was last seen alive on the night of 3 June 1980 in the Queensway area of ​​west London.

He told friends he “got his eye on a black boy” and rushed after him, the court heard.

After Mr Bird failed to show up for work at the Railway Tap pub, police were called to his one-bedroom flat, jurors heard.

Officers hit the property with a sledgehammer and found it appeared to have been “looted”, Mr Price said.

The prosecutor told the jury, “The officers went into the bedroom. They found Tony Bird’s lifeless body on the bed. He was naked. He was on his side. His knees were drawn up and his legs were crossed.

‘Black electrical cord was tied tightly around his left wrist and around his left ankle. Around his right wrist was the sign of a cord. There were numerous stains and obvious bruises on his body.’

The court was told that two wooden planks were found at the scene.

Mr Price told the jury that Paul’s fingerprints were taken after his confession and compared with evidence from the crime scene.

In a statement on the impact of the victim, Mr Bird’s family said they were “devastated, shocked and traumatized” by his death.

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/moment-killer-confessed-to-bondage-murder-of-naked-kensington-barman-42-years-ago/ Moment Killer confessed to the bondage murder of a naked Kensington bartender 42 years ago

Brian Ashcraft

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