UK
24/07/2013 04:20 BST

PC Keith Blakelock Murder Trial To Start, 28 Years After Broadwater Farm Riots In Tottenham

PC Keith Blakelock
PA
PC Keith Blakelock

Twenty eight years after a policeman was killed by a mob during riots in London, a man is to appear in court charged with his murder.

Nicholas Jacobs, 44, is charged with killing Pc Keith Blakelock, who died during the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985.

The 40-year-old officer was attacked and stabbed dozens of times as he tried to protect firefighters as they tackled a blaze at a supermarket during the height of the unrest in Tottenham, north London.

The CPS said it had decided to charge Jacobs after a thorough investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service, and that there was sufficient evidence and it was in the public interest to prosecute.

It said no further action would be taken against five other individuals suspected of taking part in the murder as there was insufficient evidence to warrant a prosecution.

Three men - Winston Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip - were convicted in March 1987 of Pc Blakelock's murder but all three convictions were quashed four and a half years later, after forensic tests on pages of key interview records suggested they had been fabricated.

In 2003, Scotland Yard reopened the murder investigation after a review indicated there were possible new lines of inquiry, and in 2010 14 men were arrested in connection with Pc Blakelock's death and the attempted murder of his colleague Pc Richard Coombes.

Nine were told in August 2011 that they would face no further action, and Scotland Yard said that another four had also been released from bail.

Prosecutors have advised that a fifth person should also face no further action.

Relatives of the officer said in a statement: "The family of Pc Keith Blakelock have never given up hope in getting justice for him. We welcome this news, and extend our eternal gratitude to the Metropolitan Police Service."

Jacobs will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court.