PC Keith Blakelock 'screamed for help' during machete attack

PC Keith Blakelock PC Keith Blakelock was stabbed 43 times, the Old Bailey has heard

Related Stories

PC Keith Blakelock curled up in a ball and screamed for help as a mob hacked him to death during the Broadwater Farm riots, an eyewitness has told the Old Bailey.

The witness used the pseudonym John Brown and had his voice distorted by a modulator to protect his identity.

He said he saw Nicholas Jacobs stab the 40-year-old police officer between two and four times with a machete in Tottenham in October 1985.

Mr Jacobs, 45, denies murder.

'Excitement of situation'

Asked by Richard Whittam QC, for the prosecution, what the officer was doing during the attack, Mr Brown said: "What I saw, he was trying to curl up into a ball, I suppose to protect himself somehow."

"Did he say anything?" Mr Whittam asked.

Nicholas Jacobs and Richard Whittam QC at the Old Bailey on the first day of his trial Nicholas Jacobs, portrayed on the first day of the trial, was not mentioned in John Brown's first statement in 1986, the court heard

"I just heard screams of 'Help, help, help'."

Mr Brown, a former member of the Park Lane Boys gang, who accepted a caution for assaulting his partner in 2010, said Mr Jacobs was wielding a machete with a 12-inch (30cm) blade.

"He was attacking the officer and hit him with a couple of blows on his body, stabbing up and down with the machete," he said.

He told the jury that he himself had kicked the officer some 10 times after he went to the ground.

Asked why, he said: "Looking back on it, I don't know.

"It was the excitement of the situation, I just rushed forward and kicked him about 10 times."

'Stockpiling petrol bombs'

Mr Brown told the court he was 18 or 19 years old at the time of the riots, while Mr Jacobs was 16.

He said the Park Lane Boys had been preparing for the riots days before PC Blakelock's death, by stockpiling petrol bombs at a fish and chip shop and it was "common knowledge" there was going to be trouble.

Aerial photograph of the Broadwater Farm estate The witness said petrol bombs had been stockpiled for days before the riot at Broadwater Farm estate
Cars left overturned and burned-out in the street after rioting on the Broadwater Farm housing estate Cars were left overturned and burned out after the rioting in 1985

He told the jury that he had heard others say Mr Jacobs was going around saying he was going to "give an officer a hiding if he got the opportunity, or do some damage".

But the court heard that Mr Brown had not mentioned Mr Jacobs in the first statement he gave to police about the riots in 1986 and instead waited until later statements before placing him at the scene.

Cross-examining the witness, defence barrister Courtenay Griffiths QC said: "You very deliberately chose to name Nicky Jacobs; one, because he was young; two, because he posed no threat to you; and three, you quite wrongly thought that he had been charged with murder. Is that true?"

Mr Brown disagreed.

'Kickers and stabbers'

Moving on to a new statement Mr Brown made in 1993 claiming, for the first time, he saw Mr Jacobs using a machete, the defence barrister asked whether it had been done for the £5,000 police reward he received.

"No, definitely not," Mr Brown replied.

When a fresh investigation into PC Blakelock's death got under way in 1992, suspects were separated into "kickers and stabbers".

Those who had not used weapons - "kickers" - were given immunity from prosecution as police tried to identify who had stabbed the officer to death.

It was then Mr Brown gave evidence claiming for the first time that he had seen Jacobs use a weapon, the court heard.

Mr Griffiths asked the witness if police officers had visited him at his home in June 1993 and told him that, in order for there to be a "realistic prospect of prosecution", three or four witnesses would need to come forward.

He also asked if Mr Brown had then put his cousin up as an eyewitness in order to get the reward.

While he acknowledged police had visited him, Mr Brown said he "totally disagreed" with the barrister's claim.

The trial continues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

19 °C 11 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    10:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The top stories in the capital on BBC London 94.9:

    • The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has launched a consultation to look at strengthening the law on domestic violence by creating a specific new offence of 'domestic abuse'.
    • Two men have been charged with the murder of a 17-year-old who was shot dead in south-east London more than four years ago.
     
  2.  
    Bank holiday travel 09:54:

    Chiltern Railways tweets: Travelling this bank holiday? Engineering wk is taking place on the Aylesbury via Amersham line. No trains between G Missenden & Marylebone

     
  3.  
    M25 delays 09:45:

    On the M25 anticlockwise, one lane is blocked and there is heavy traffic between J11, A317 at Chertsey and J10, A3 at Wisley Interchange, because of an accident.

    For up to date travel news visit BBC London travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

     
  4.  
    Watchdog calls for religion evidence 09:40:

    A human rights watchdog has called for evidence about religion in the workplace after a Christian registrar was disciplined by Islington Council for refusing to conduct gay civil partnerships, reports the Islington Gazette.

     
  5.  
    Marchioness disaster 25 years on 09:31: Andy Dangerfield BBC News Online

    "The lights went out and we knew water had got into the hull," said Iain Philpott, who was a 26-year-old fashion photographer, from Highbury, north London. "There were lots of screams and next thing, we were all in the water."

    Marchioness

    On 20 August 1989, 131 people were on board the Marchioness when it was hit by the dredger Bowbelle, killing 51 people. A memorial service will be held at Southwark Cathedral later to mark the 25th anniversary of the disaster.

     
  6.  
    Welwyn North delays 09:20:

    National Rail tweets: UPDATE: Residual delays of up to 15 minutes between Stevenage and London Kings Cross following signalling problems near #WelwynNorth

     
  7.  
    Marchioness disaster 25 years on 09:15: Andy Dangerfield BBC News Online

    On August 20, 1989, the Marchioness pleasure boat collided with the dredger Bowbelle and sank in the River Thames, killing 51 people.

    Marchioness The Marchioness collided with the dredger Bowbelle

    Twenty-five years on, survivors and the victims' families recall what happened and the legacy that remains.

     
  8.  
    Vanessa Feltz 09:06: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On BBC London 94.9, Vanessa Feltz discusses Theresa May's plans to create a new domestic abuse crime.

     
  9.  
    On air 09:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The top story in the capital on BBC London 94.9: The Home Secretary, Theresa May, launches a consultation to look at strengthening the law on domestic violence by creating a specific new offence of 'domestic abuse'.

     
  10.  
    Carnival travel guide 08:54:

    Planning on going to the Notting Hill Carnival this weekend? Here are some road closures you need to be aware of:

    • Sunday from 07:00 until around 23:59
    • Monday from 07:00 until around 03:00 on the morning of Tuesday 26 August

    Road closures will be from:

    • Harrow Hill in the north
    • Notting Hill Gate in the south
    • Clarendon Road in the west
    • Queensway in the east

    For full details visit the Transport for London website.

     
  11.  
    Ask the Met boss 08:44:

    Metropolitan Police tweets: Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will be taking your q's from 11:30 today in his Twitter Q&A. What do you want to ask him? #askMetBoss

     
  12.  
    Top headlines
     
  13.  
    New temple opens 08:34:

    A £20m Hindu temple has opened in north west London, funded entirely by the local community.

    The exterior of the Shree Swaminarayan Siddhant Sajivan Mandal Temple in Kingsbury The Shree Swaminarayan Siddhant Sajivan Mandal Temple in Kingsbury opened on 19 August

    The ornate Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Kingsbury combines traditional Indian architecture and carvings with "green" technology.

     
  14.  
    Queuing traffic 08:25:

    On the M25, one lane is blocked clockwise after J5 Sevenoaks and there are queues from J4 Orpington. In the City, roadworks continue on Lower Thames Street leading to delays westbound along The Highway.

    And a broken down vehicle on the A312 southbound at A4 Jolly Waggoners has led to queues all the way from the Uxbridge Road.

     
  15.  
    Train delays 08:14:

    There is some disruption on the Southeastern service due to a line-side fire at Margate.

    And there are delays of about 15 minutes on East Coast and First Capital Connect trains between King's Cross and Stevenage because of signalling problems.

    Get the latest travel information on BBC London travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

     
  16.  
    Sunny spells 08:07:

    It will be a mainly dry start, with some good sunny spells during the morning.

    However, some cloud will develop during the afternoon. It will feel rather cool. Highs of 18C (64F).

     
  17.  
    08:00: Elaine Okyere BBC London News

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

  • A man holds an ornate urnForgotten remains

    Why would relatives leave ashes in a funeral parlour for years?


  • OrangemanPunctured pride?

    How would N Ireland's Orangemen feel if Scotland left the union?


  • MarchionessThames tragedy

    Survivors and victims' families remember Marchioness disaster


  • Sheep on Achill IslandMass exodus

    Why hundreds of thousands of people have left Ireland


Elsewhere on BBC News

  • Pulling a pint in MauritiusThe beer hunter

    One man's quest to bring artisan beer to the island of Mauritius

Programmes

  • Traffic lightsClick Watch

    From hacking cars to traffic lights - behind the scenes at a cyber-security conference

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.