A Teddington man has been sentenced to 12 years in jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
Carl Whitehead, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem revealed the cause of death as a blow to the head and torso and compression/injury to the neck.
Homicide detectives from Specialist Crime launched an investigation, led by DCI Simon Stancombe.
Initial enquiries established that a member of staff from the London Ambulance Service had seen Cummings knocking at the door of the victim’s flat prior to police attendance.
When spoken to, he said he was Mr Whitehead’s friend and was enquiring after his health, but declined to give his name and left the scene.
Two days later Cummings contacted police and admitted he had been at the crime scene on the night of Carl's death.
Following his arrest, he gave a prepared statement to say he had spent the night at Carl’s flat and the pair had fallen asleep after drinking alcohol. In his account, he said he woke in the night to find the victim waving around a knife, so had pushed him and taken the knife back into the kitchen.
He then claimed that both had gone back to sleep and he left the flat at around 8.30am the next morning, at which point he spoke briefly to Carl.
Despite deleting all Whatsapp and text messages on his phone, enquiries revealed that he had sent a number of messages on the morning of the incident.
One message read: “When I woke up this morning there was blood everywhere, we both been cut in each others arms with a knife maybe I should go back round and this morning just check on him.”
Cummings' t-shirt was also found at the scene, while the coat he was seen wearing on CCTV had been disposed of in the bin at his own address.
Cummings was charged on February 18 and remanded into custody.
Detective Constable Pete Walker, of the Met’s Specialist Crime command, said: “Although admitting to being the last one to see Carl alive, Cummings has since failed to take any responsibility for his actions. Now he has no choice but to face up to what he did that night.
“While we may never know the reasons behind Carl’s death, we hope that his family get some kind of closure knowing Cummings will soon be behind bars and is unable to cause any further harm to others.”