Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

PC's Family Saddened by Verdict

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

PC's Family Saddened by Verdict

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton Chief Reporter

GRIEVING loved ones of murdered PC Keith Blakelock revealed their heartache as their hopes of justice were dashed.

The Wearside-born officer was attacked by an armed mob after he was deployed to protect firefighters tackling a blaze on Tottenham's Broadwater Farm estate on the night of October 6, 1985.

Nicky Jacobs, who was 16 at the time, went on trial at the Old Bailey accused of being one of the rioters who together stabbed the officer more than 40 times and tried to decapitate him.

As he was cleared of murder at the Old Bailey there were cheers from the public gallery. The 45-year-old stood up and held his head in his hands before sitting down and sobbing. He was then taken from the dock.

Among his supporters in the public gallery was Winston Silcott, whose conviction for the murder of PC Blakelock was quashed in 1991. The officer's widow, Elizabeth Johnson, and her three sons, Mark, Kevin and Lee, released a statement saying they were "extremely sad and disappointed at the verdict".

They said: "We viewed this trial as an opportunity to see some form of justice served for Keith. There were many people involved in the murder on that night of 6 October 1985 and it is regretful that no-one has yet to be found guilty despite the number of people with knowledge of the events of that night."

Jacobs's prosecution followed an earlier trial in 1987, when three men were convicted of the murder but later freed on appeal. During the course of three separate investigations, a controversial decision was made to give immunity to so-called "kickers" - those who were involved in the attack but did not use weapons - in exchange for their co-operation.

The jury was told that some of the informants, who had drink problems and convictions for selling heroin and crack cocaine, received payments from police for their co-operation. …

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