Man cleared of UK policeman’s murder in 1985 riot
LONDON (AP) — A slaying that shocked Britain three decades ago remains unsolved, after a jury on Wednesday cleared a man of killing a London police officer during a 1985 riot.
Nicky Jacobs was acquitted Wednesday of murdering Constable Keith Blakelock during unrest on the Broadwater Farm public housing development in north London, triggered when a local resident died of a heart attack during a police raid on her home.
Jacobs, who was 16 at the time, was accused of being among rioters who stabbed Blakelock more than 40 times and tried to decapitate him.
But the jury at London’s Central Criminal Court wasn’t convinced by a prosecution case that relied on anonymous witnesses suspected of being involved in the rioting but granted immunity from prosecution in return for their evidence.
Three men were sentenced to life in prison for the killing in 1987, but their convictions were overturned in 1991 after evidence suggested police had altered statements.
Blakelock’s widow, Elizabeth, and three sons, said they were saddened and disappointed by the verdict.
“We viewed this trial as an opportunity to see some form of justice served for Keith,” they said in a statement.