A man has told how he escaped the clutches of Dennis Nilsen after the serial killer invited him to the home where he murdered and butchered men.
Nick Barrit was 24 when the monster treated him to a late-night meal after he missed his last train home.
He claims Nilsen invited him back to spend the night on his sofa – and became “aggressive” when he rejected the offer.
Nick said: “Now I dread to think what would have happened if I had gone back.”
The football fan, now 66, says he met Nilsen on the platform at London’s Waterloo station in March 1979.
He had been to watch his team Everton play at Derby.
But when he changed trains in London he missed the last one home to Christchurch, Dorset, by seconds.
Nick claims Nilsen approached him within a minute and offered to take him for dinner – claiming he too was in the same predicament.
Self-employed gardener Nick accepted Nilsen’s offer and the pair walked to a cafe in the West End. Nick says he then turned down his offer of a bed for the night – and it was only in 2006 that he realised who Nilsen was.
He said the release of the ITV drama Des this week – which starred David Tennant as the serial killer – sparked flashbacks, and made him realise how lucky he was to escape.
Nick said: “I was in a bit of a pickle and he sort of came out of nowhere. He told me he’d missed a train too – although he later admitted he hadn’t – and said, ‘I’ll buy you supper’.
"I had 36p in my pocket and very little other options so I decided to go with him.
“I went along and we walked to the Strand Cafe where we both ordered beef burgers, chips, peas and carrots.
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“I remember him speaking in a soft Scottish accent. He kept staring at me and didn’t say much. He seemed a bit agitated. He kept getting a cigarette out to light and then putting it back, hesitating.
"After dinner he invited me back to his flat to stay on his sofa. He was insistent, saying he’d pay for a taxi back to the flat and then would pay for me to get a cab to the station in the morning – but I was worried I wouldn’t make my early train on time.
“As soon as I went to go he got quite stroppy about it – bordering aggressive.
“He told me, ‘that’s no reason, I bought you dinner. I expect you to come back, it’s not going to cost you anything’.
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“He told me he had all the booze – whisky and the like – that I could want. But I thanked him, shook his hand and started walking back to Waterloo.
“I didn’t suspect a thing,” Nick said. “He was a smartly dressed, well-spoken man – and there was me with long hair. I just thought he was being kind.”
At 2.20am they parted ways – aggravating Nilsen.
Nick said: “I told him I was going to head back to Waterloo station. He said, ‘Don’t walk back, come back to my place’.
“I told him, ‘How can I go back to yours, if we’ve missed the train?’ and he admitted he hadn’t and said that he’d pay for a taxi back to his flat for us.
“Now I dread to think what might have happened if I’d gone with him.”
Nick added: “I keep getting flashbacks. It gives me the creeps.”
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