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Timeline: The hunt for Pc Blakelock’s killer

The path across the green looking towards Tangmere on the Broadwater Farm estate which was shown in court, in the murder trial of Pc Keith Blakelock.

The path across the green looking towards Tangmere on the Broadwater Farm estate which was shown in court, in the murder trial of Pc Keith Blakelock.

NICKY Jacobs was just 16 when Pc Keith Blakelock, from Sunderland, was murdered during the Tottenham riots. It took three investigations spanning nearly 30 years before his trial got under way:

•Saturday October 5 1985: Police arrest a man in connection with a suspected stolen vehicle tax disc. The man’s mother, Cynthia Jarrett, dies from a heart attack after officers raid his home in Thorpe Road, Tottenham, north London. The death fuels already simmering tensions in the community.

•Sunday October 6 1985: Public disorder breaks out on the Broadwater Farm estate after a protest in front of Tottenham police station. Pc Blakelock and Pc Richard Coombes are outnumbered and attacked while trying to protect firefighters. Pc Blakelock dies after receiving “in excess of 40 stab type injuries” as the mob try to decapitate him.

•October 11 1985: Nicky Jacobs, 16, was arrested and three days later charged with affray and remanded in custody to await trial.

•November 3 1985: Jacobs is convicted of affray and sent to youth custody.

•Late 1985: The investigation leads to the conviction of around 300 people for public order offences - and six people are charged over Pc Blakelock’s murder.

•January 14 1987: Three adults and three juveniles go on trial at the Old Bailey accused of murdering Pc Blakelock but the case against the juveniles does not proceed.

•March 19 1987: The three adults are convicted of murdering Pc Blakelock.

•January 25 1988: A prison officer finds a poem written by Nicky Jacobs behind bars describing Pc Blakelock’s murder. In the poem, Jacobs says: “We chop him all over.”

•November 25 1991: The Court of Appeal quashes the three adults’ convictions.

•1992/93: A new investigation is conducted under Commander Perry Nove of the Metropolitan Police.

The inquiry raises questions about interviews by Detective Chief Superintendent Graham Melvin and Detective Inspector Maxwell Dingle, casting doubts about the reliability of evidence given at the 1987 trial.

•January 4 1993: Commander Nove receives a letter from the CPS confirming that a distinction would be made between attackers who used weapons and those who punched or kicked. Those who had not used weapons would be offered conditional immunity from prosecution.

•June 20 1994: The decision is taken to stop all inquiries related to the renewed investigation after lawyers representing Mr Melvin and Mr Dingle request disclosure of its results.

•June 21 1994: Mr Melvin and Mr Dingle go on trial at the Old Bailey.

•July 26 1994: Both officers are acquitted of all charges.

•2000: A third investigation under Detective Superintendent John Sweeney gets under way through a new system for reviewing unsolved murders.

•May 2000: Jacobs is arrested for an unconnected offence, allegedly telling police: “F*** off, I was one of them who killed Keith Blakelock.”

•February 2010: Jacobs is produced from prison to be interviewed by police about the murder. He issues a short statement denying involvement and then makes no comment.

•August 2011: Following the shooting by police of suspect Mark Duggan, Tottenham was once again the epicentre of riots across the capital. They differed from the 1985 riots in that the main focus was on looting, rather than violence against police. Rioters were able to communicate rapidly due to the use of social media which was not around in the 1980s.

•January 2014: An inquest jury found 29-year-old Mr Duggan was lawfully killed by a police marksman, despite him being unarmed when he was shot. Family and friends reacted with fury. The verdict does nothing to repair relations between the black community and police.

•March 2014: Nicky Jacobs, now 45, goes on trial at the Old Bailey for the murder of Pc Blakelock. The officer’s widow and sons attend, as do a number of supporters of the defendant.

•April 9: A jury of five women and seven men take six hours to find Jacobs not guilty of taking part in the attack.

 
 
 

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