PC Keith Blakelock murder accused in court

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) yesterday confirmed that a man has been charged with the murder of PC Keith Blakelock

PC Keith Blakelock
PC Keith Blakelock

A man will appear in court today over the murder of a North East police officer killed as riots raged in London more than 25 years ago.

PC Keith Blakelock, 40, was stabbed to death by a machete-wielding gang as locals clashed with police during the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots in Tottenham, London.

The father-of-three was attacked while he tried to protect firefighters who were tackling a supermarket blaze during the height of the troubles on October 6.

Three men were found guilty of his murder two years later.

However, their convictions were eventually quashed, and PC Blakelock’s murder remained unsolved. In 2003, the Metropolitan Police re-opened its probe, after a review indicated there were possible new lines of inquiry.

And the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) yesterday confirmed that Nicholas Jacobs, 44, had been charged with the PC’s murder.

Alison Saunders of the CPS said: “Following a thorough investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service, we have decided that Nicholas Jacobs should be charged with the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during the disorder at Broadwater Farm in October 1985.

“This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

“We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute.

“We have also concluded that no further action should be taken against five other individuals suspected of taking part in the death of PC Blakelock as there is insufficient evidence to warrant a prosecution.”

Winston Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip served four-and-a-half years for the murder following their convictions in 1987.

But all three convictions were quashed after forensic tests on pages of key interview records suggested they had been fabricated.

Silcott accepted £50,000 compensation from the Home Office but remained in prison for an unrelated murder and was released in 2003. PC Blakelock's widow Elizabeth Johnson still lives in West Boldon, South Tyneside.

Jacobs is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

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