NICKY Jacobs has been released from prison, the day after he was cleared of killing Pc Keith Blakelock, from Sunderland, during the 1985 Tottenham riots.
He was driven from Belmarsh prison in south east London in a silver saloon after administrative delays that delayed his freedom yesterday were completed.
Speaking outside the prison, his lawyer Tony Meisels said his client was “relieved” to be free after a four-year ordeal.
And he said police and prosecutors must investigate why the case was brought, as the jury took just hours to acquit him after a trial lasting weeks.
He said: “Our thoughts are with Pc Blakelock’s widow and her children. Obviously, they have not seen justice and have been dragged through the process as much as Mr Jacobs has.
“Questions need to be asked at the very highest levels of the Crown Prosecution Service and the police as to why this prosecution was ever brought.”
Jacobs was found not guilty of the murder of Pc Blakelock by a jury at the Old Bailey in London yesterday.
The officer was attacked by an armed mob after his unit was deployed to protect firefighters tackling a blaze on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London on the night of October 6 1985.
Jacobs, who was 16 at the time of the riots, was the seventh person to be charged with the officer’s murder but no one has been brought to justice for the killing.
Supporters said he was kept in custody last night as the administrative offices at Belmarsh jail had closed by the time the verdict was handed down.