Blakelock murder witness accused of being ‘fantasist’

PC KEITH BLAKELOCK ... died trying to protect firefighters during the Tottenham riots.
PC KEITH BLAKELOCK ... died trying to protect firefighters during the Tottenham riots.
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AN anonymous witness in the Pc Keith Blakelock murder trial was today accused of being a delusional “fantasist” who was put up to lie about what he saw during the Tottenham riots.

The witness, known as Q, told the Old Bailey that he saw defendant Nicky Jacobs attack Pc Blakelock with a “tool” wielded in a “stabbing motion” during the unrest on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London on the night of October 6 1985.

But in cross examination, Jacobs’s barrister Courtenay Griffiths QC accused him of telling lies because his cousin, another witness in the case, told him to.

Witness Q denied even knowing the witness known as John Brown and repeatedly denied being delusional.

Mr Griffiths asked him: “Has John Brown put you up to come to this court to tell lies?”

Q replied: “No, no, not at all.”

Mr Griffiths went on: “Has John Brown mentioned to you that you stand to gain if you come to this court and tell lies?”

Q replied: “Gain what?”

Mr Griffiths said: “Money.”

Q retorted: “It’s a new one on me,” adding that he knew nothing of a reward.

John Brown was one of two earlier anonymous witnesses in the trial of Jacobs, 45. Both have admitted kicking the officer but are immune from prosecution.

Witness Q said he was not part of the mob which set upon Pc Blakelock or the wider riots.

The man, who said he had known Jacobs most of his life, only came forward to give his account of the murder in July 2009 after police put a card through his door, he said.

He told the trial that in the weeks before the riots there was an “eerie” and “quite hostile” atmosphere on the Broadwater Farm estate where he lived.

People were saying riots were coming, and Jacobs was one of them, the witness said.

Asked by prosecutor Richard Whittam QC to describe the night of the riots, he said it was “barbaric really”.

He said: “I saw rocks and petrol bombs being thrown, cars being set on fire.”

The attack on Pc Blakelock happened “within seconds”, he said: “I saw there was a metal bar used, knives like a machete type thing and one looking like a sword.

“I was 12 feet away when I seen this, that’s how I knew the policeman was dead. I had not seen many dead bodies but I knew he was dead.”

He said he was close enough to see Pc Blakelock’s feet go “still”.

On Jacobs’s involvement, the witness said: “He was just in the crowd...that was setting about the police officer. He had a tool but I could not say whether it was a machete or a knife or not.

“There were about eight or so. He had a tool and he was using it in a stabbing motion on the policeman.”

He added: “Who actually killed the poor chap is anybody’s business. I’m only just saying what I seen.”

Asked how many times Jacobs made the stabbing motion, Q said: “Once.”

Afterwards, he said: “I was pretty scared. The first thing I wanted to do was to get away from that situation because it was rather barbaric and I cannot recall where I went.”

During cross-examination by Mr Griffiths, Q confirmed he was a drink and drug user, having started with cannabis and gone on to heroin.

But the witness, who was unemployed at the time of the murder, denied the suggestion that he suffered from “delusions” and was a “fantasist”.

When witness Q was interviewed, he told police that they had probably heard Jacobs’s name mentioned before, the court heard.

Mr Griffiths asked: “Had John Brown told you he had mentioned his name to the police?”

Q said: “I do not know who this John Brown is.”

Mr Griffiths asked about an incident Q had relayed to police involving a gun exchange on the estate between the occupants of gold and silver Rolls-Royce cars the day before the riots.

The lawyer said: “Are you sure this is not a delusion on your part?”

The witness said: “Certainly not.” He denied the assertion that he suffered from delusions.

The jury later handed a note read out to the court asking if there was any medical evidence that the witness suffered from an alcohol-related condition called Korsakoff’s Syndrome.

Mr Griffiths said he was not in a position to give an immediate answer.

Jacobs, who was 16 in 1985, denies murder.

The trial continues.