British TV Egghead says he killed a junkie in Amsterdam

CJ de Mooi (Picture: Twitter/@cjdemooi)CJ de Mooi (Picture: Twitter/@cjdemooi)

CJ de Mooi, a well-known British panelist on the BBC quiz show Eggheads, believes that he killed a drug addict in Amsterdam in 1988. In his biography My Journey From the Streets to the Screen, which was published this past week, he writes that he knocked out a man who was trying to mug him and threw him into the canal.

De Mooi writes that an old man with a knife threatened him during the time he spent living on the streets of Amsterdam, British news site Mirror reports. "This is the one incident of my life I do regret. I was in a phone box and this old guy, obviously a massive drug user, came up behind me with a knife in his hand. He told me to turn around, open my bag and give him whatever was inside. He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped. I punched him so hard in the face, knocked the knife out of his hand and threw him in the canal. I fully suspect I killed him. I've no idea what happened to him."

According to Mirror, the Amsterdam police had no record of the attack until De Mooi's confession, but will now investigate. The Public Prosecutor told Het Parool that De Mooi is not at risk of being prosecuted due to the statute of limitation being over. "Say that he murdered someone in 1988 and there was no investigation, then the offence's time has expired." spokesperson Evert Boerstra said to the newspaper. Since 2012 there is no longer a statute of limitation on serious crimes such as murder and manslaughter. But in 1988, the year De Mooi believes he committed the crime, the statute on limitation for this crime was still 18 years.

In his biography De Mooi tells of how he ran away from a violent, racist and homophobic home in 1987 when he was 17 years old. He ended up homeless and penniless in London, working as a male prostitute to eat. After eight months he stowed away on a boat to Amsterdam, where he slept on the steps of Amsterdam train stations and resorted to begging and shop lifting. He eventually also ended up in prostitution there. "My body was the only commodity I had and if I wanted to eat, I had to sell it... I wish I hadn't had to do it but I don't regret doing it."

De Mooi finally managed to turn his life around after being spotted by a model scout while begging outside a club in Germany at the age of 19. Five years later her returned to Britain and landed his role on Eggheads in 2003.