UK

Cold case detectives believe a baseball bat attack near to the site of an unsolved murder may hold the answer to the 1984 crime.

Anthony Littler, 45, was found with “catastrophic” head injuries near East Finchley Tube station, in north London, a little after midnight on 1 May 1984.

The “kind and gentle” civil servant, who was single and lived close to the station, was in an alleyway known as The Causeway.

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Mr Little died near East Finchley Tube station in north London in 1984

Despite extensive inquiries at the time and further investigations in 1993 and 2013, his murder was never solved.

Metropolitan Police officers, who have carried out a routine re-examination, believe a serious assault in the same area three days before could be linked to the murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil John said Mr Littler “came through East Finchley Tube station and made his way home on foot through an alleyway.

“Sadly, within a few minutes of him leaving the station, a 999 call was made to emergency services requesting an ambulance and police.

“Upon arrival, the police found Mr Littler’s lifeless body with catastrophic injuries to his head.”

Two days earlier, a man with “quite serious injuries to his head and face” came into an off-licence near the station, complaining that he had been attacked by two males with baseball bats, Mr John said.

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Metropolitan Police detectives are appealing for information in the unsolved murder

The man, who was “described as 6ft tall, medium build, with short brown hair”, told the shopkeeper he had been assaulted the evening before, on 28 April.

Detectives are also interested in finding the man who made an anonymous call from a phone box to report the attack on Mr Littler to police.

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Mr Littler’s cousin, Tricia McClure, said: “Anthony was a lovely, kind and gentle man who wouldn’t have hurt anyone. It is heartbreaking to our family that this happened to him.

“After all this time, we hope this new investigation puts those responsible behind bars. It won’t bring Anthony back, but it will give us some closure.”

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