he Crown Prosecution Service has defended its decision to put a convicted rioter on trial for the killing of PC Keith Blakelock after the dead man’s family watched as a seventh man was cleared of one of the country’s most notorious unsolved murders.
Nicky Jacobs, 45, punched the air and wept after he was found not guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey following a controversial trial based in part on the evidence of men involved in the 1985 attack who had been granted immunity from prosecution. It means that after the third inquiry into the killing at the Broadwater Farm Estate, there is still no justice for the family of the dead officer. They said they were “extremely sad and disappointed” at the verdict.
Three people were jailed in 1987 for the murder but were later cleared after new scientific evidence revealed that crucial interview notes had been tampered with. Two of the men, Winston Silcott and Mark Braithwaite, were among the defendant’s supporters in the public gallery.
The officer’s widow, Elizabeth Johnson, sank back in her seat and appeared visibly shocked as a jury took six hours to return not guilty verdicts. The trial was the culmination of a multi-million pound investigation that followed her personal plea for justice.