Search

PC Blakelock murder: Police tell witnesses it’s ‘not too late to come forward’

16:25 09 April 2014

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley. File picture: PA

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley. File picture: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner Mark Rowley has said it is “not too late” for witnesses to PC Keith Blakelock’s brutal murder to come forward, after Nicky Jacobs was this afternoon cleared of his killing by a jury.

"There are people who know exactly who took part in the attack on Keith and people who took part themselves. It is not too late for you to come forward."

Met Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley

The Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner Mark Rowley has said it is “not too late” for witnesses to PC Keith Blakelock’s brutal murder to come forward, after Nicky Jacobs was this afternoon cleared of his killing by a jury.

Mr Rowley described the Muswell Hill beat bobby’s 1985 murder - in which an attempt was made to decapitate him - as “barbaric”, adding: “Regardless of the verdict, we never, ever close a case - we are still open to new information.”

During the trial, Scotland Yard was heavily criticised by Jacobs’ lawyer for the time it took to bring charges, and the evidence of the so-called “kickers” of PC Blakelock, who received payments in the past for their co-operation with the investigation.

But Det Supt John Sweeney, who has led the investigation for the past 14 years, said he had no regrets about the case and insisted: “No-one has been rewarded for this trial.”

PC Keith Blakelock: Murdered in the Broadwater Farm RiotsPC Keith Blakelock: Murdered in the Broadwater Farm Riots

In a statement released after Mr Jacobs was cleared of murdering the 40-year-old, Mr Rowley said: “We have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service over many years to be in a position to put our evidence before a court. The investigation team pursued all the material, evidence and witnesses they could.”

He insisted it was “important we exhausted every possible lead we could”, pointing out: “It would be nice to have alternatives, witnesses of perfect character, but unfortunately you do not tend to get them at riots - the lovely old lady with a perfect memory out walking her dog. We have had to work with what we have got which is an investigative challenge.”

He also paid tribute to PC Blakelock’s widow, family and friends who “still have not seen anyone brought to justice for his murder”.

He added: “The dignity, extraordinary patience and courage they have shown in their nearly 30-year quest for justice is humbling.

“We will not give up on bringing Keith’s killers to justice. There are people who know exactly who took part in the attack on Keith and people who took part themselves. It is not too late for you to come forward. Almost 30 years on people’s lives are very different, their allegiances broken or shifted. Help us now.”

Mr Rowley said the three key prosecution witnesses were paid expenses - the men known as Rhodes Levin and John Brown received several thousand pounds in 1994 - but only after it seemed there was no prospect of a prosecution.

He said: “The decision was made at the time - people had put themselves at risk and were prepared to give evidence - it was felt to reward them at that point on the basis there was no foreseeable prosecution.

“The fact they feel strongly enough and wanted to give evidence still was their personal choice and was not linked to what they were paid at the time.”

A £100,000 reward promised by the News of the World also evaporated when the tabloid closed down in 2011, police said.

Police had to re-examine 74,294 documents, 14,127 exhibits and 17,765 names before they could even begin a fresh investigation in 2003. The total cost is thought to run into the tens of millions of pounds.

As a result, 20 suspects were identified as being at the murder scene and police asked the Crown Prosecution Service in 2005 to consider charges against six, including Jacobs.

Mr Rowley said the decision to charge Jacobs in 2013 was vindicated by the fact the judge Mr Justice Nicol agreed after legal discussions that a jury should be allowed to decide on the evidence.

Jenny Hopkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: “It was right that all the evidence in this case was put before a jury and we respect its decision.”

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Virginia McKenna, actress and founder of the Born Free wildlife charity, is the latest to sign a 4,500-strong petition to create a haven for swans on the island on Hampstead Heath’s model boating pond.

15:13

Camden Council’s leader has said the prime minister’s commitment to removing the UK from the EU’s single market is “deeply concerning” – and pledged to push for the “greatest possible access”.

10:00

A 69-year-old man with stage 3 cancer has claimed he was “shoved in a corner” of A&E for 16 hours after being rushed to hospital with open wounds.

12:48

A plan to resurrect the Old White Bear pub in Hampstead by sharing its upper floors with a school has been given the go-ahead.

11:47

Work will begin to replace gas mains in Gospel Oak after a public outcry forced its delay last year.

10:00

A “legendary” music promoter has raised £10,000 in three days as he looks to fund treatment for an extremely rare form of cancer.

11:16

A man died after being hit by a train in King’s Cross station yesterday.

Yesterday, 17:09

The solicitor, who features in the film Denial, says there is “reams and reams” of far-right material online, and search engines should take a stand

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now