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The trial of Nicky Jacobs for the murder of PC Blakelock should never have taken place – it had no chance whatsoever of securing a conviction. This is not because of the passage of time, but because of the paucity and reliability of the evidence.

While many commentators have tried to draw parallels between this case and that of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, in that many years have elapsed between the killing and the trial, no such parallels exist. In the Lawrence case evidence existed but police failed to gather it or act on it; in the Jacobs case no such evidence ever existed.

This was a trial in which the state relied heavily on the testimony of three alleged witnesses. However, their testimony contradicted the facts of the case established almost 29 years ago; and they also contradicted each other.

Let’s remember that the first two witnesses – given the pseudonyms John Brown and Rhodes Levin to protect their identities – had previously been paid thousands as a “reward” for their help to the Metropolitan police during the first re-investigation in the early 1990s. They were also granted immunity from prosecution, having confessed to being part of the mob that attacked and killed Blakelock and to kicking and punching the officer up to 10 times each.

In 1994 the DPP agreed that the kickers and punchers could receive immunity if testifying against the stabbers and choppers. However in 1985, when the crime occurred, anyone in and around the mob would have been charged with murder under the doctrine of common purpose and joint enterprise.

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