East Finchley: Two new arrests in 1984 murder of Anthony Littler

 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Detectives investigating the murder of a man 40 years ago have made two further arrests.

Anthony Littler was found with head injuries in an alleyway known as The Causeway, near East Finchley Tube station, north London, at 12.15am on May 1, 1984.

One man, aged 56, and another aged 57 were detained on Thursday on suspicion of murder, the Metropolitan Police said. They remain in custody.

Two men previously arrested in December 2023 have been re-bailed to a date in late April.

Single Mr Littler, an executive officer at Customs and Excise, lived a short distance from the station.

Despite extensive police inquiries at the time, the murder was never solved.

Police believe Mr Littler, from Leslie Road, was killed in a random attack but despite an extensive investigation, no one was charged. The motive also remains unknown.

In December, Detective Chief Inspector Neil John said Mr Littler had been on his way home from a night out when the attack occurred, adding: “He came through East Finchley Tube station and made his way home on foot through an alleyway.

 (Jamel Smith/PA Wire)
(Jamel Smith/PA Wire)

“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.”

Police believe the victim of the other attack could hold key information.

DCI John said a man entered Galleon Wine Store, an off-licence that used to exist near the Tube station, on April 29, 1984.

“A man described as 6ft tall, medium build, short brown hair, complained to the shopkeeper that he’d been attacked by two males with baseball bats,” he said.

“He had quite serious injuries to his head and face.”

The man told the shopkeeper he had been attacked the evening before, on April 28.

He was never traced, but police believe he could hold key information for their investigation.

Detectives are also interested in the identity of the person who rang police to tell them about the attack on Mr Littler on May 1.

Mr John said the caller was a male and that he made an anonymous call from a nearby phone box.

He added that police have located one surviving cousin of Mr Littler, who is “very supportive” of the investigation.

Mr John said unsolved murders “never really go away”.

“This matter was reviewed in 1993, 2013, and again now,” he said.

“It’s about creating opportunities, looking back at what we’ve done, what we haven’t done, and hopefully finding answers to the fundamental questions of the who, what, where, when, why and how of what happened to Mr Littler.”

He said police inquiries had found that Mr Littler “did not have any enemies”.

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.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 020 8358 0100 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.