THE widow of Sunderland Pc Keith Blakelock has told how she had “never given up hope” of getting justice for her late husband.
She was speaking as a 44-year-old man appeared in court charged with the murder of the officer, who died during the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985.
Nicholas Jacobs is accused of killing the 40-year-old, who was stabbed as he tried to protect firefighters as they tackled a blaze at a supermarket during the height of the unrest in Tottenham, north London.
Wearing a grey tracksuit, bearded Jacobs spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during a short hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey tomorrow.
Prosecutors announced on Tuesday that Jacobs had been charged over Pc Blakelock’s death.
In a statement, Pc Blakelock’s widow, Elizabeth, of West Boldon, and sons Mark, Kevin and Lee said: “The family have never given up hope in getting justice for him.
“We welcome this news, and extend our eternal gratitude to the Metropolitan Police Service.”
The officer and his colleague, Pc Richard Coombes, were attacked on October 6, 1985, during the disorder in north London, which was sparked by the death of Cynthia Jarrett who collapsed and died during a police raid on her home.
It is alleged that, after stumbling, the father of three was surrounded by a mob screaming “Kill the pig”.
He was stabbed dozens of times.
Pc Blakelock was eventually dragged away by colleagues who bravely returned to help him, but he died later in North Middlesex Hospital.
No further action is being taken against four other suspects who were arrested in connection with the killing.
Mr Jacobs, was 16 at the time of the riots.
In 1987, three men – Winston Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip – were convicted of Pc Blakelock’s murder, but their convictions were quashed four and a half years later, after forensic tests on pages of key interview records suggested they had been fabricated.
Scotland Yard reopened the murder investigation in 2003 after a review indicated there were possible new lines of inquiry.
More than 6,000 statements were examined, and detectives also compiled a video of the scene using police and press photographs taken on the night.