KEITH Blakelock’s best man today told how he hopes one day the officer’s family will finally get justice.
Stan Scott struck up a friendship with the officer when the pair were just teenagers in Seaburn.
In the years that followed, they formed a strong bond, playing football together and even acting as best man at each other’s wedding.
After Nicky Jacobs was cleared of his murder, the 66-year-old, of Washington, said: “My heart goes out to his family. I can understand how they just want some closure now.
“This has dragged on for almost 30 years, and you would like to think at some point it might finally be over for them.”
Stan was about 17 years old when he met Keith.
“He used to come along and play football with us on the recreation field,” recalled Stan.
“We got talking and became friends and it was a friendship that would continue for the next 10 to 15 years.
“There was a group of us, about 15 or 16, who would hang around together; we’d go to the bowling alley. Liz, who later became his wife, was among them.
“He was just a regular, nice lad. I know people say this all the time, but he really was the type of person who would do anything for you.”
Keith and Elizabeth both spent some time working for Plessey’s in Sunderland, which Stan believes was where they first met.
When the pair got married at a church in Boldon, Stan was asked, at the last minute, to stand in as best man.
“I think he was dropped in it by someone else,” said Stan, “so I was asked to stand in.” In return, Keith would go on to be best man at Stan’s wedding.
Stan added: “After getting married, they moved to a house in Edith Avenue in Usworth, Washington.
“My wife and I would go round there and they would come to visit us at our house in Cleveland Road. We were all good friends.”
Stan would become godfather to the couple’s first son, Mark, and the Blakelock family moved to a bigger home in Albany in Washington.
Stan says Keith tried to join the police in the North East, but then made the decision to move down south and join the Met.
“I think he was also thinking of the lads’ future and that moving south might be able to help the family.”
In the years that followed, Stan lost touch with Keith and it wasn’t until a news bulletin flashed up on TV that he realised his friend had been killed.
He said: “We were watching TV and his photo came up – it was a hell of a shock.”
Devastated by the news, Stan and his wife attended Pc Blakelock’s funeral in London.
He added: “Sometimes people forget that Keith was just a nice, normal lad from Sunderland. When I think about him, I just remember a good friend; that’s it.”