Death of Keith Blakelock
|Metropolitan Police Service|
|28 June 1945 – 6 October 1985 (aged 40)|
|Place of birth||Sunderland, Tyne and Wear|
|Place of death||Broadwater Farm, Tottenham, London, N17|
|Years of service||Five|
|Rank||Police Constable, homebeat officer in Muswell Hill, north London|
|Awards||Queen's Gallantry Medal|
|Relations||Elizabeth Blakelock, later Johnson (wife)
Mark, Kevin, Lee (sons)
Keith Blakelock, a London Metropolitan Police constable, was killed on 6 October 1985 during rioting on the Broadwater Farm housing estate in Tottenham, north London. The trouble broke out after a local black woman died of heart failure during a police search of her home, and took place against a backdrop of unrest in several English cities and a breakdown of relations between the police and black communities.
PC Blakelock had been assigned on the night of his death to Serial 502, a unit of 10 constables and a sergeant dispatched to protect firefighters. When the rioters forced the officers back, Blakelock stumbled and fell. Surrounded by a mob of around 50 people, he received over 40 injuries inflicted by machetes or similar, and was found with a six-inch-long knife in his neck, buried up to the hilt. He was the first constable to be killed in a riot in Britain since PC Robert Culley was stabbed to death in Clerkenwell, London, in 1833.
Detectives came under enormous pressure to find the killers, amid tabloid coverage that was sometimes openly racist. Faced with a lack of forensic evidence, the police arrested 359 people, interviewed most of them without lawyers, and laid charges based on untaped confessions. Three adults and three youths were charged with the murder; the adults, Winston Silcott, Engin Raghip and Mark Braithwaite (the "Tottenham Three"), were convicted in 1987, while the charges against the youths were dismissed. A widely supported campaign arose to overturn the convictions, which were quashed in 1991 when forensic tests cast doubt on the authenticity of detectives' notes from an interview in which Silcott appeared to incriminate himself. Two detectives were charged in 1992 with perverting the course of justice and were acquitted in 1994.
Police re-opened the inquiry in 2003 and carried out forensic tests not available earlier, including on a machete found in 2004 buried near the housing estate. Fourteen men were arrested in 2010 on suspicion of murder. One of them, Nicholas Jacobs, 16 at the time of the killing, was charged in July 2013 with Blakelock's murder and pleaded not guilty. His trial opened on 3 March 2014 at the Old Bailey.
Blakelock and the other constables of Serial 502 were awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for bravery in 1988. Their sergeant, David Pengelly, who armed with a shield and truncheon placed himself in front of the crowd in an effort to save Blakelock and another officer, received the George Medal, awarded for acts of great bravery.
- 1 Background
- 2 (October 1985) Broadwater Farm riot
- 3 Investigation
- 4 Legal proceedings
- 5 Investigation re-opened
- 6 Awards and memorial
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
Keith Henry Blakelock (28 June 1945 – 6 October 1985) was born in Sunderland. He joined the Metropolitan Police on 14 November 1980, and was assigned to a response team in Hornsey before becoming a home beat officer in Muswell Hill, north London. At the time of his death, he was married to Elizabeth Blakelock, with three sons, Mark, Kevin and Lee. Lee Blakelock, eight years old when his father died, went on to become a police officer himself, joining Durham Police in 2000. PC Blakelock is buried in East Finchley Cemetery.
Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, in the Borough of Haringey, north London (N17), emerged from the British government's policy from the 1930s onwards of slum clearance, in which poorly maintained terraced houses were bulldozed to make way for high-rise social housing. Built between 1967 and 1973, the Farm consists of 1,063 flats (apartments) in 12 blocks raised on stilts, linked by first-floor outdoor connecting walkways; no homes or shops were built at ground level for fear of flooding from the nearby River Moselle. At the time of Blakelock's death the estate housed 3,400 people, 49 percent white and 43 percent Afro-Caribbean.
British journalist David Rose writes that by 1976 the Farm was already seen as a sink estate, and by 1980 a Department of the Environment report had suggested demolition, although a regeneration project after the 1985 riots led to improvements. Sir Kenneth Newman, Metropolitan Police commissioner from 1982 to 1987, regarded the estate as one of London's symbolic locations, or potential no-go areas, along with Railton Road in Brixton, All Saints Road in Notting Hill, the Notting Hill Carnival, and the Stonebridge Estate in Harlesden.
Commentators said the linked walkways, combined with the ground-level parking spaces and arches beloved of drug dealers, had turned the estate into a "rabbit warren" for criminals, to the point where residents said they were afraid to leave their homes. According to Dutch architectural historian Wouter Vanstiphout: "[T]here are elevated walkways, there are little stairs that connect them, there are these huge stairwells where the different elevated walkways come together ... there is a huge underground zone that is completely unmonitored, which consists of parking places ... so it's an incredible nest ... one of these typical modernist, multi-level network city constructions that make it extremely difficult for the police to exert any control over it, and it makes the police extremely vulnerable for attacks from behind, underneath, from the top."
Social unrest across England
The riots in which Blakelock died took place within a wave of social unrest across England. Since the 1980 St. Pauls riot in Bristol, and particularly since the 1981 Brixton riot in south London, a series of incidents had sparked violent confrontations across the country between black youths and largely white police officers.
On 9 September 1985, a month before Blakelock's murder, there was rioting in Handsworth, Birmingham, after the arrest of a black man for a traffic offence; two people were killed. On 28 September, a black woman, Dorothy "Cherry" Groce (1948–2011), was accidentally shot by police while they searched her home in Brixton looking for her son, Michael Groce, who was wanted on suspicion of robbery and firearms offences. Believing she had died in the shooting – in fact, she survived but was left paralysed from the waist down – a group of protesters gathered outside Brixton police station, and rioting broke out that saw police lose control of the area for 48 hours. A photojournalist, 29-year-old David Hodge, was killed when a breeze block was dropped on his head while he photographed the looting.
Rumours spread throughout London that more rioting was imminent, including in Bermondsey and the Wood Green shopping centre near Broadwater Farm. On 1 October there were disturbances in Toxteth, Liverpool, and on the same day police stopped and searched all vehicles entering the Farm, finding a petrol bomb there the next day. As David Rose wrote in 1992, all that was needed for the rioting to begin was a trigger.
(October 1985) Broadwater Farm riot
(5 October) Death of Cynthia Jarrett
On Saturday, 5 October 1985, a week after the Brixton riot, police arrested Floyd Jarrett, a 24-year-old black man from Tottenham, on suspicion of being in a stolen car. It was a suspicion that turned out to be groundless, but a decision was made several hours later to search the home of his mother, Cynthia Jarrett, for stolen goods. In the course of the search she collapsed and died of heart failure. Rose writes that the pathologist, Dr Walter Somerville, told the inquest that Mrs. Jarrett had a heart condition so severe she probably only had months to live.
According to Rose, the police let themselves into the house using Floyd's keys, without knocking or announcing themselves, while Mrs. Jarrett and her family were watching television. The inquest heard that an officer accidentally pushed against Mrs. Jarrett, causing her to fall, although the officer denied this. When it became clear she had stopped breathing, the same officer tried to revive her using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, to no avail.
(6 October) Rioting breaks out
Protesters began to gather outside Tottenham police station, a few hundred yards from Broadwater Farm, around 1:30 am on Sunday morning, 6 October. Four of the station's windows were smashed, but the Jarrett family asked the crowd to disperse. Later that day, two police officers were attacked with bricks and paving stones at the Farm, and a police inspector was attacked in his car. By early evening a crowd of 500 mostly young black men had gathered on the estate, throwing petrol bombs, bricks and stones, and dropping concrete blocks from the outdoor walkways that surrounded the apartment blocks. The subsequent rioting was regarded as one of the most violent incidents the country had seen. Apart from Blakelock's death, 250 police officers were injured, and two policemen and three journalists suffered gunshot wounds. It was the first time shots had been fired by rioters in Britain, and the first time the police in England had deployed plastic bullets, although in the end they were not used.
Blakelock was assigned on the night to Serial 502, a Metropolitan police unit consisting of a sergeant and 10 constables from Hornsey and Wood Green police stations. A "shield serial" was a unit equipped with shields, Nato helmets and a personnel carrier; expecting trouble, the Metropolitan police had increased the deployment of these patrols across the capital. Serial 502 consisted of three Scots, three Londoners, including a Jamaican, and one each from Cumbria, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Sunderland and Merseyside.
At 9:30 pm Sgt David Pengelly led the unit into Broadwater Farm to protect firemen who had earlier been forced out of the estate's Tangmere block (pictured), where a fire had started in a newsagent's on the first floor. One of the firemen, Trevor Stratford, said the men made their way up an enclosed staircase, with Serial 502 behind them. Dozens of rioters suddenly appeared on the floor at the top of the stairs, blowing whistles and throwing bottles; it was later suspected that the setting of the fire had been an ambush. Pengelly ordered the officers and firemen to retreat. They were forced to run backwards down the narrow staircase, fearful of tripping over the fire hoses, which had been flat before but were now full of water. PC Richard Coombes said the noise was deafening – the rioters were shouting, "Kill the pigs" – and he could hardly see through the scratched Perspex visor on his helmet. "I had a tiny, short truncheon. ... We were woefully under-equipped."
Attack on Blakelock
As they ran down the stairwell, Statford saw there were rioters at the bottom of the stairs too, wearing masks or crash helmets, and carrying knives, baseball bats, bricks and petrol bombs. As the firefighters and police ran out of the stairwell toward a car park and a patch of grass, Stratford saw that Blakelock had tripped and fallen: "He just stumbled and went down and they were upon him. It was just mob hysteria. ... There were about 50 people on him.
The rioters removed Blakelock's protective helmet, which was never found. Rose writes that the pathologist, David Bowen, found 54 holes in his overalls, and 40 cutting or stabbing injuries, eight of them to his head, caused by a machete, sword or axe-type instrument. A six-inch-long knife was buried in his neck up to the hilt. His hands and arms were cut to ribbons, and he had lost several of his fingers trying to defend himself. There were 14 stabbing wounds on his back, six on his face, a six-inch gash across the right side of his head, and his jawbone had been smashed. Bowen said the force of the blow that caused this injury had been "almost as if to sever his head."
A second group surrounded PC Coombes, who sustained a five-inch-long cut to his face, a broken upper jaw, and a smashed lower jaw. In 2004 he said he was still suffering the effects of the attack, including poor hearing and eyesight, and epileptic fits. Police regard the attack on him as attempted murder. A third constable, Michael Shepherd, had his protective helmet pierced by an iron spike. Several of the police officers and firemen turned and ran back toward the crowd to try to save Blakelock and Coombes. Trevor Stratford told a reporter in 2010: "I remember running in with another fire officer to get Dick Coombes. I literally slid into the group, like a rugby player charging into a ruck. We dragged him out, but he was in a hell of a state."
I then ran back towards Keith Blakelock. Other police officers were already there. We were all being hit and beaten, but I managed to get hold of his collar and pull his head and shoulders out of the group. One of the other officers helped me to drag him out.
Dave Pengelly kept a rearguard barrier between us and the rioters, standing in the middle of it all with just a shield and a truncheon, trying to fend them off, which is an image I'll never forget.
Between us all we managed to manhandle Keith out to the road, and safety. He was already unconscious when I'd got to him on the ground. I started mouth-to-mouth and heart massage on him, but his injuries were just horrific.
He had a knife embedded up to the handle in the back of his neck. We could see he had multiple stab wounds and some of his fingers were missing. I just kept working on him with another officer, and I think we got some response, but only very limited.
Blakelock was taken by ambulance to the North Middlesex Hospital, but died on the way. Coombes said in 2010 that, when the other officers got back to the safety of their van, "We just sat there, numb with shock, and life was never the same again for any of us."
Rose writes that there was a racist media frenzy after the killing, placing intense external pressure on detectives to solve the case. According to Rose, the news coverage included the Sun newspaper comparing Labour's prospective candidate for Tottenham, Bernie Grant (1944–2000) – who had immigrated from Guyana in 1963 – to an ape, writing that he had given a press conference while peeling a banana and juggling an orange. Grant had caused uproar when he was reported as saying the police had been given a "bloody good hiding," although his statement was also reported as: "The youths around here believe the police were to blame for what happened on Sunday and what they got was a bloody good hiding."
The Metropolitan Police commissioner, Kenneth Newman, told reporters that groups of Trotskyists and anarchists had orchestrated the violence, a theme picked up by the Daily Telegraph and others. The Daily Express – falling for a story from notorious hoaxer Rocky Ryan (1937–2004) – reported on 8 October 1985 that a "Moscow-trained hit squad gave orders as mob hacked PC Blakelock to death," alleging that "crazed left-wing extremists" trained in Moscow and Libya had coordinated the riots.
There was also internal pressure on detectives from the rank and file, who saw their superior officers as sharing the blame for Blakelock's death. The Police Federation's journal, Police, argued that senior officers had pursued a policy at Broadwater Farm of avoiding confrontation at all costs, and that "community policing" had led to compromises with criminals, rather than maintaining a focus on upholding the law. As a result, the journal wrote, officers had failed to appreciate the seriousness of the situation that had developed on the estate.
Officer in charge
Detective Chief Superintendent Graham Melvin of the Serious Crime Squad was placed in charge of the investigation a few hours after the killing, at 2 am on 7 October. The inquiry became the largest in the history of the Metropolitan Police, with 150 officers assigned full-time. Melvin was born in Halifax in 1941, joining the Metropolitan Police in 1960, then the Criminal Investigation Department. He studied at Bramshill Police College, served with the Flying Squad, and was known for having solved several notorious cases, including that of Kenneth Erskine, the Stockwell Strangler. He became a Detective Chief Superintendent in March 1985 when he joined the International and Organised Crime Squad (SO1), which Peter Victor writes takes only the cream of detectives.
Det Ch Supt Melvin's first problem was that there was no forensic evidence to go on. Senior officers did not allow the estate to be sealed off immediately after the attack, which meant the crime scene was not secured. Witnesses and those involved in the attack were able to leave without even giving their names. Objects that might have held fingerprints were not collected. Police were not allowed into the estate until 4 am, by which time much of the evidence had disappeared. Whatever remained was removed during Haringey Council's clean-up operation.
Melvin therefore resorted to arresting suspects – including juveniles, some of them regarded as vulnerable – and holding them for days without access to lawyers. Of the 359 people arrested in connection with the inquiry in 1985 and 1986, just 94 were interviewed in the presence of a lawyer. Many of the confessions that resulted, whether directly about the murder, or about having taken part in the rioting, were made before the lawyer was given access to the interviewee.
When people did confess to even a minor role in the rioting, such as throwing a few stones, they were charged with affray, a serious offence. One resident told the 1986 Gifford inquiry into the rioting: "You would go to bed and just lie there, and you would think, are they going to come and kick my door, what's going to happen to my children? It was the horrible fear that you lived with day by day, knowing they could come and kick down your door and hold you for hours." Thus, argues Rose, the police created, or at least intensified, a climate of fear in which witnesses were afraid to step forward.
Melvin defended his methods in court by arguing that lawyers, unwittingly or otherwise, might pass information they had gleaned during interviews to other suspects. He said under cross-examination that, in his view, "the integrity of some firms of solicitors left a lot to be desired"; he said he believed solicitors were being retained by people who had an interest in learning what other suspects had said. The Crown prosecutor, Roy Amlot QC, told the murder trial that the police had one effective weapon, namely that suspects did not know who else had spoken to police and what they had said, and that "the use of that weapon by the police was legitimate and effective."
Mark Pennant, aged 15, was arrested on 9 October and charged with murder two days later, the first person charged in connection with the killing. Born in England to West Indian parents, Pennant had been raised in the West Indies until he was nine, after which he returned to the UK. He had learning difficulties and was attending a special school. He was arrested and handcuffed at school, and taken to Wood Green Police Station, where he was interviewed six times over the course of two days with a teacher in attendance. He said he had cut Blakelock and kicked him twice. He named Winston Silcott as the ringleader, and named others he said were involved, including a juvenile, Mark Lambie.
Jason Hill, a 13-year-old white boy who lived on Broadwater Farm, was seen looting from a store in the Tangmere block during the rioting, near where Blakelock was killed. He was arrested on 13 October and taken to Leyton Police Station, where he was held for three days without access to a lawyer. He was reportedly kept in a very hot cell, which he said made sleeping and even breathing difficult. His clothes and shoes were removed for forensic tests, and he was interviewed wearing only underpants and a blanket, the latter of which by the third day of detention was stained with his own vomit. Hyacinth Moody of the Haringey Community Relations Council sat in as an "appropriate adult"; she was later criticized by the judge for having failed to intervene.
Over the course of several interviews, Hill told police that he had witnessed the attack, and named Silcott and others, including Mark Lambie. He described almost a ritualistic killing, and said Silcott – whom he called "Sticks" – had forced him to make his own "mark" on Blakelock with a sword. He described injuries to Blakelock's body that did not match the autopsy report. After he had cut Blakelock, he said Silcott told him he was cool, and asked him what he had seen. Hill said he replied, "Nothing," and that Silcott said, "Well, you can go." He said the aim of the attack had been to decapitate Blakelock and put his head on a stick. In 1991 he told David Rose that, throughout the interview, the police were saying, "Go on, admit it, you had a stab," and "It was Sticks, wasn't it?" He said they threatened to keep him in the station for two weeks, and told him he would never see his family. He told Rose: "They could have told me it was Prince Charles and I would have said it was him."
Mark Lambie, aged 14, was the third juvenile to be charged with the murder. He was named by Mark Pennant and Jason Hill, and was interviewed with his father and a solicitor present. Lambie admitted to having taken part in the rioting, but denied involvement in the murder. One witness said during the trial that he had seen Lambie force his way through the crowd to reach Blakelock, although the testimony was discredited; the witness was caught in several lies and admitted he had offered evidence only to avoid a prison sentence. (In May 2002, 17 years later, Lambie was jailed for 12 years for kidnap and blackmail after detaining and torturing two men; newspapers described him at that time as a Yardie gang leader.)
London's East End
|Education||William Foster School, Tottenham|
|Burglary, wounding, possession, obstruction (1979–1984), murder of Anthony Smith (1986), murder of Keith Blakelock (1987, overturned 1991)|
|Parents||Mary and Walter (Bill)|
|Relatives||Daughter, born 1982|
|Awards||Honorary president, London School of Economics (1989)|
David Rose writes that a former detective inspector called the Blakelock investigation a "pre-scientific inquiry, it was all about how to get Winston Silcott convicted, not discovering who killed Keith Blakelock." By the time of the murder, the local police saw Silcott as the "biggest mafioso in Tottenham," running gangs of muggers and paying them in drugs, according to Rose's source.
Silcott was 26 years old when he was arrested, the oldest of the six charged with murder. He was born in Tottenham in 1959; his parents, both Seventh-day Adventists, had arrived in England from Montserrat two years earlier. He told Rose that he had experienced racism throughout his entire upbringing, particularly from the police. He left school at 15 and took a series of low-paying jobs. He began breaking into houses in 1976, and the next year was convicted of nine counts of burglary and sent to borstal for a few months. In 1979 he was sentenced to six months for wounding, and in September 1980 stood trial for the murder of 19-year-old Lennie McIntosh, a postal worker, who was stabbed and killed at a party in Muswell Hill in 1979. The first trial resulted in a hung jury; a second trial saw him acquitted.
In 1980 Silcott and a friend began operating a mobile disco known as "Galaxy Soul Shuffle," playing at festivals and private parties. In 1983 he was given a government grant to open a greengrocer's on the deck of the Tangere block of Broadwater Farm. In October that year he was fined for possessing a flick knife, and in March 1984 for obstructing police. In 1985 he made the news when he reportedly told Princess Diana, during an official visit to Broadwater Farm, that she should not have come without bringing jobs with her, which the Sun newspaper interpreted as a threat.
In December 1984 Silcott was arrested for the murder of a 22-year-old boxer, Anthony Smith, at a party in Hackney. Smith was slashed more than once on his face, there were two wounds to his abdomen, a lung was lacerated, and his aorta was cut. Silcott was charged with the murder in May 1985, and was out on bail awaiting trial when Blakelock was killed in October 1985. He at first told police he had not known Smith and had not been at the party, although at trial he said he had been confused and acknowledged having been there. He said Smith had started punching him, and that he had pushed Smith back but had not been carrying a knife. Silcott was convicted of the murder in February 1986, while awaiting trial for the Blakelock murder, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Later, he told his lawyer he had indeed known Smith, that there was bad blood between them, and that he had stabbed Smith in self-defence, because he could see that one of Smith's friends had a knife.
Known as "Sticks" locally, Silcott was living in the Martlesham block of the Broadwater Farm estate at the time of the riots, and was running his greengrocer's shop in the Tangmere block, the block near the spot where Blakelock was killed. He told The Observer in 2004 that he had been in the Tangmere block on the night of the death, and had stopped someone throwing a scaffolding pole through the window of his shop. A friend of his, Pam, had then invited him to her apartment to keep him out of trouble. He told the newspaper: "And look, I'm on bail for a murder. I know I'm stupid, but I'm not that stupid. There's helicopters, police photographers everywhere. All I could think about was that I didn't want to lose my bail." He said he had first learned of Blakelock's death when he heard cheering in the apartment he was staying in, in response to a news report about it.
Silcott was arrested for Blakelock's murder on 12 October 1985, six days after the riot; he was interviewed five times over 24 hours, Det Ch Supt Melvin asking the questions and Detective Inspector Maxwell Dingle taking the notes. During the first four interviews, he stayed mostly silent and refused to sign the detectives' notes, but during the fifth interview on 13 October, when Melvin said he knew Silcott had struck Blakelock with a machete or sword, his demeanour changed, according to the notes. The notes show him asking: "Who told you that?" When the detectives said they had witnesses, he reportedly said: "They are only kids. No one is going to believe them." The notes say he walked around the interview room with tears in his eyes, saying: "You cunts, you cunts," and "Jesus, Jesus," then: "You ain't got enough evidence. Those kids will never go to court. You wait and see. No one else will talk to you. You can't keep me away from them." The notes show him saying of the murder weapons: "You're too slow, man, they gone." He was at that point charged with murder, to which he reportedly responded: "They won't give evidence against me."
|Theft, burglary (c. 1984), murder of Keith Blakelock (1987, overturned 1991)|
Nineteen-year-old Engin Raghip, of Turkish-Cypriot descent, was arrested on 24 October after a friend mentioned his name to police, the only time anyone had linked him to the murder. During his trial, the court heard from an expert that Raghip was "in the middle of the mildly mentally handicapped range," although this testimony was withheld from the jury. His mental impairment became a key issue during his successful appeal in 1991 in R v Raghip and others, when the court accepted that it rendered his confession unsafe.
Rose writes that Raghip was born in England in 1958, ten years after his parents had emigrated from Cyprus. He left school at 15, illiterate, and by the time of the murder had two convictions, one for stealing cars and one for burglary. He had a common-law wife, Sharon Daly, with whom he had a two-year-old boy, and he worked occasionally as a mechanic. He had little connection with Broadwater Farm, though he lived nearby in Wood Green, and had gone to the Farm with two friends on the day of the rioting to watch, he said. One of those friends, John Broomfield, gave an interview to the Daily Mirror on 23 October, apparently boasting about his involvement in the rioting. He was arrested, and he implicated Raghip. Broomfield was later convicted of an unrelated murder.
At the time of Raghip's arrest he had been drinking and smoking cannabis for several days, had not slept or eaten properly, and his common-law wife had just left him, taking their son with her. He was held for two days without representation, first speaking to a solicitor on the third day, who said he had found Raghip distressed and disoriented. He was interviewed by Det Sgt van Thal and Det Insp John Kennedy ten times over a period of four days. He made several incriminating statements during the interviews, at first admitting he had thrown stones, then during the second interview saying he had seen the attack on Blakelock. During the third, he said he had spoken to Silcott about the murder, and that Silcott owned a hammer with a hook on one side. After the fifth interview, Rose writes, he was charged with affray, and during the sixth he described the attack on Blakelock: "It was like you see in a film, a helpless man with dogs on him. It was just like that, it was really quick." He did not sign this interview, Rose writes, and after it he vomited.
During a seventh interview the next day, he described noises he said Blakelock had made during the attack. During the eighth interview, he said he had armed himself that night with a broom handle, and had tried to get close to what was happening to Blakelock, but there were too many people around him. He said: "I had a weapon when I was running toward the policeman, a broom handle." He said he might have kicked or hit him had he been able to "get in." Rose writes that he also offered the exact order in which Blakelock's attackers had launched the assault. He was held for another two days, released on bail, then charged with murder six weeks later, in December, under the doctrine of common purpose.
|Occupation||Rapper, disc jockey|
|Murder of Keith Blakelock (1987, overturned 1991)|
Mark Braithwaite was 18 when Blakelock was killed, a rapper and disc jockey living with his parents in Islington. He had a girlfriend who lived on Broadwater Farm, with whom he had a child. On 16 January 1986, three months after the murder, his name was mentioned for the first time to detectives by a man they had arrested, Bernard Kinghorn. Kinghorn told them he had seen Braithwaite, whom he said he knew only by sight, stab Blakelock with a kitchen knife. Kinghorn later withdrew the allegation, telling the BBC three years later that it had been false.
Braithwaite was taken to Enfield Police Station and interviewed by Det Sgt Dermot McDermott and Detective Constable Colin Biggar. He was held for three days and was at first denied access to a lawyer, on the instruction of Det Ch Supt Melvin. He was interviewed eight times over the first two days, and with a lawyer present four times on the third. During the first 30 hours of his detention he had nothing to eat, and said in court – as did several other suspects – that the heat in the cells was oppressive, making it difficult to breathe.
He at first denied being anywhere near the Farm, then during interview four said he had been there and had thrown stones, and during interview five said he had been at the Tangmere block, but had played no role in the murder. During interview six, he said he had hit Blakelock with an iron bar in the chest and leg. Rose writes that there were no such injuries on Blakelock's body. In a seventh interview, he said he had hit a police officer, but that it was not Blakelock. On the basis of this confession evidence, he was charged with murder.
(1987) Trial: R v Silcott and others
|R v Silcott and others|
|Court||Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey)|
|Date decided||March 1987|
|Judge(s) sitting||Sir Derek Hodgson|
|Subsequent action(s)||R v Raghip and others
Silcott v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Forty-nine men and youths were convicted of offences arising from the riots, out of 359 arrested and 159 charged, not counting the six murder defendants. The trial of the six – Silcott, Raghip and Braithwaite, the adults; and Pennant, Hill and Lambie, the youths – began in court number two of the Old Bailey on 14 January 1987, and lasted 44 days. All the men were charged with murder, riot, and affray; Lambie was also charged with throwing petrol bombs.
The jury consisted of seven men and five women, including one Afro-Caribbean woman. They were not told that it was Silcott's fourth murder trial, that he had been out on bail for the murder of Anthony Smith when Blakelock was killed, or that he had subsequently been convicted of that murder. Silcott's barrister, Barbara Mills (1940–2011), a future Director of Public Prosecutions, decided that he should not take the stand in case it left him open to questioning about his previous convictions. The effort to avoid introducing the previous conviction meant the jury could not be told that Silcott had signed on for his bail – related to the Smith murder charge – at Tottenham police station at around 7 pm on the evening of Blakelock's death, when witnesses had supposedly placed him at a Broadwater Youth Association meeting, making inflammatory speeches against the police.
The press coverage of the trial included the publication on day two, by the Sun, of a notoriously violent-looking photograph of Silcott, one that "created a monster to stalk the nightmares of Middle England," as journalist Kurt Barling put it. Silcott said he had been asleep in a police cell when it was taken; he said he was woken up, held in a corridor with his arms pinned against a wall and photographed, and that the expression on his face was one of fear, not violence. Its publication constituted "the most gross contempt," according to the judge at the trial, Sir Derek Hodgson (1917–2002), speaking to David Rose in 1992. No action was taken against the newspaper.
The charges against the youths were dismissed by the judge because they had been detained without access to parents or a lawyer. Four armoured police vehicles waited in Tottenham as the jury deliberated for three days. They returned on 19 March with a unanimous guilty verdict against Silcott, Raghip and Braithwaite; the men were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation that Silcott serve at least 30 years. The black female juror fainted when the verdicts were read out. Rose writes that the tabloids knew no restraint, writing about the beasts of Broadwater Farm, hooded animals, and packs of savages, with the old jail-cell image of Silcott published above captions such as "smile of evil."
(1988) Application for leave to appeal rejected
A campaign to free the "Tottenham Three" gathered pace, organized by the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign. They published an 18-page report in 1987 by two American law professors, Margaret Burnham and Lennox Hinds, who had attended part of the trial, and who wrote that Silcott's conviction "represents a serious miscarriage of justice." Rose writes that the New Statesman and Time Out wrote sympathetic pieces, and MPs and trade unionists were lobbied. In May 1989 Silcott was elected honorary president of the famously left-wing London School of Economics by its students' union, to the dismay of the college's director and governors. Silcott resigned shortly afterwards, saying he did not want the students to become scapegoats.
Engin Raghip's solicitor was now Gareth Peirce – who had also represented the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six, prominent cases of miscarriage of justice – and his barrister Michael Mansfield. Peirce applied for leave to appeal. She began to explore Raghip's mental state, arguing that his confession could not be relied upon. She arranged for him to be examined by Dr. Gísli Guðjónsson of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, a specialist in suggestibility; Guðjónsson concluded that Raghip was unusually suggestible, with a mental age of between 10 and 11. Silcott was again represented by Barbara Mills and Braithwaite by Steven Kamlish. Mills noted the lack of photographic or scientific evidence, and argued that Silcott would have been unlikely to stop firefighters from extinguishing a fire on the deck of the Tangmere block, given that he was renting a shop there.
Lord Lane (1918–2005), then Lord Chief Justice of England, dismissed the applications on 13 December 1988, arguing of Raghip that the jury had had ample opportunity to form its own opinion of him. Amnesty International criticized the decision, pointing to the problems with confessions made in the absence of a lawyer, and was criticized in turn by Home Secretary Douglas Hurd, who said Amnesty had abandoned its impartiality. During a BBC Newsnight discussion of the case, Lord Scarman (1911–2004), a former Law Lord, said the convictions ought to be overturned. Gareth Peirce obtained another psychologist's report about Raghip and, supported by Raghip's MP Michael Portillo, asked the Home Secretary to review the case. She also submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that the way Raghip had been interviewed breached the European Convention on Human Rights. In December 1990 Home Secretary Kenneth Baker referred the case back to the Court of Appeal.
(1990) Electrostatic Detection Analysis test
In parallel with the efforts of Pierce, Silcott's lawyers had requested access in November 1990 to his original interview notes, so that the seven pages from his crucial fifth interview – the notes he said were fabricated – could be submitted for an Electrostatic Deposition/Detection Analysis (ESDA) test. The test can identify a small electrostatic charge left on a page when the page above it is written on; in this way, the test's developers say, the chronological integrity of interview notes can be determined.
In Silcott's case, according to the scientist who conducted the ESDA test, Robert Radley, the notes from the section of the fifth interview in which Silcott appeared to incriminate himself had been inserted after the other notes were written. The seventh and final page of the fifth interview, where the participants would normally sign, was missing. The ESDA test suggested that, on the third to sixth pages of the interview, no impressions had been left from previous pages, although these earlier impressions appeared throughout the rest of the notes. According to Will Bennett in The Independent, the test "also revealed an imprint of a different page five from the one submitted in evidence which was clearly the same interview with Silcott but in which he made no implicit admissions." In addition to this, David Baxendale, a Home Office forensic scientist who was asked to investigate by Essex police, said that the paper on which the disputed notes were written came from a different batch of paper from the rest of the interview.
The disputed section of the interview had been written down by Det Insp Maxwell Dingle. It said that, when Silcott was told the police had witness statements that he had attacked Blakelock, he replied: "They are only kids. No one is going to believe them"; he reportedly said later: "Those kids will never go to court, you wait and see." As a result of the ESDA test evidence, the Home Secretary added Silcott and Braithwaite to Raghip's appeal.
(1991) Appeal: R v Raghip and others
|R v Raghip and others|
|Court||Royal Courts of Justice|
|Date decided||25 March 1991|
|Appealed from||R v Silcott and others|
|Subsequent action(s)||Silcott v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
R v Melvin and Dingle
The Court of Appeal heard the case on 25 November 1991, and took just 90 minutes to quash all three convictions, delivering their 74-page decision on 5 December. R v Raghip and others is regarded as a landmark ruling because it recognized that "interrogative suggestibility" might make a confession unreliable.
Lawyers for the three argued that Silcott's interview notes were contaminated, and that Raghip's suggestibility and Braithwaite's having been denied a lawyer rendered their confessions unreliable too. The Crown prosecutor, Roy Amlot, conceded that the apparent contamination of the evidence rendered all three convictions unsafe. Rose writes that Amlot's statement to the court was "one of the more sensational speeches in English legal history." Amlot said: "[W]e would not have gone on against Braithwaite, against Raghip, against any other defendants, having learned of the apparent dishonesty of the officer in charge of the case. I say that because the Crown has to depend on the honesty and integrity of officers in a case ... The impact is obviously severe."
Braithwaite and Raghip were released on 25 November. Silcott remained in jail for the 1984 murder of Anthony Smith. He received £17,000 compensation in 1991 for his conviction in the Blakelock case. He was offered up to £200,000 in legal aid in 1995 to sue the police for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The Metropolitan Police settled out of court in 1999, awarding him £50,000 for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. He was released on licence in October 2003 having served 17 years for Smith's murder.
(1994) Trial: R v Melvin and Dingle
In July 1992 Det Ch Supt Melvin was charged with perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and Det Insp Maxwell Dingle with conspiracy. None of the three people present during the disputed interview with Silcott – Melvin, Dingle and Silcott himself – gave evidence during the detectives' trial at the Old Bailey in June–July 1994.
The prosecution alleged that the notes of the fifth interview with Silcott had been altered to include the self-incriminating remarks. Silcott had refused to answer questions during the first four interviews. During the fifth, when told that he had struck Blakelock with a machete or similar, the notes show him saying that no one will believe the "kids" who have spoken to the police, and "Those kids will never go to court. You wait and see. No one else will talk to you. You can't keep me away from them."
The detectives' lawyers produced 14 undisclosed witness statements from the Blakelock inquiry, one of which said Silcott had been carrying a knife with a two-foot-long blade on the night of the murder, and that he had attacked Blakelock. The detectives were acquitted on 26 July by a unanimous jury verdict. They told reporters after the verdict that they had been through a "terrible ordeal." Both officers had been suspended during the case. Melvin returned to work afterwards, while Dingle retired.
(2004) Possible murder weapon found
In March 1999 the Metropolitan Police included Blakelock's killing in a review of 300 unsolved murders in London going back to 1984, when details were first recorded on computer. In December 2003, weeks after Silcott was released from jail after serving 17 years for the murder of Anthony Smith, police announced that the Blakelock investigation had been re-opened, and would be led by Det Supt John Sweeney.
Detectives began re-examining 10,000 witness statements, and submitting items for forensic tests not available in 1985. In September 2004 the back garden of a terraced council house in Willan Road, near the Broadwater Farm estate, was excavated after a tip-off. A female friend of Cynthia Jarrett, the woman whose death sparked the Broadwater Farm riot, lived alone at the house between 1984 and 1989, and according to the Evening Standard was one of the first on the scene when police raided Jarrett's house. Archaeologists dug up the garden, while surveyors used infra-red beams to create a three-dimensional map of the area. A machete was found and sent for forensic tests. Police also searched the garden for Blakelock's truncheon and helmet. In October 2004 his overalls were retrieved from Scotland Yard's Crime Museum for DNA tests.
(2013) Nicholas Jacobs charged
Six years later, in February 2010, 14 men between the ages of 42 and 52 were arrested on suspicion of Blakelock's murder. In October that year, to mark the 25th anniversary, the BBC's Crimewatch staged a reconstruction and appealed for information. In July 2013 the Crown Prosecution Service announced that, although suspicions remained about six of those arrested, no action would be taken against five of them because of insufficient evidence. The remaining suspect, Nicholas Jacobs, was charged with Blakelock's murder and was remanded in custody. He pleaded not guilty in November.
|Court||Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey)|
|Judge(s) sitting||Mr Justice Nicol|
The trial of Nicholas "Nicky" Conrad Jacobs (born 30 October 1968) opened before Mr Justice Nicol at the Old Bailey on 3 March 2014. Richard Whittam QC, for the prosecution, told the court that the main prosecution witnesses had admitted kicking or hitting Blakelock, and would in normal circumstances be facing murder charges. Forced to use witnesses who had been among the attackers, police decided not to pursue charges against those who had not used weapons. In exchange for their testimony against Jacobs, they had been offered immunity and a "degree of financial assistance from the police."
Whittam told the court that Jacobs had served a jail sentence for affray for his part in the Broadwater Farm riot, and that in 1988 rap lyrics were found in his cell, allegedly in his handwriting, that described Blakelock's killing in detail. The court also heard that, when Jacobs was arrested in May 2000, he reportedly told an officer: "F*** off, I was one of them who killed PC Blakelock."
Statements from three pseudononymous witnesses were read out, two of them witnesses to the killing. The first witness, Q, who the prosecution said had a long history of using drugs and alcohol, stated that he had known Jacobs all his life and had seen him attack Blakelock with a "mini sword" or similar, making "repeated stabbing motions" toward Blakelock.
The second witness, known as John Brown, was part of the gang that attacked Blakelock; aged 20 at the time of the riot, he served a sentence for affray for his role in it. Brown said in a police statement in August 1993 that Jacobs was a "nutter" who was "out to get blood" that night, and that Jacobs had "broadcast it everywhere that he was going to try and do a copper." According to Brown, a gang known as the Park Lane Boys had stored weapons and petrol bombs in preparation for an attack on a police officer. Brown admitted having kicked Blakelock up to ten times himself, and said that he witnessed Jacobs attack Blakelock with a machete or similar. The third witness, known as Rhodes Levin, spent time in Pentonville Prison with Jacobs; he alleged that, in 1992, Jacobs told him he had got "two good stabs in" when Blakelock was attacked.
Courtenay Griffiths QC, for the defence, told the court that the witnesses known as John Brown and Rhodes Levin had received £5,000 each from the police; the police also paid for a flight from Spain for Levin after he went there on holiday and missed his flight home, and paid for Brown to have his car put through an MOT test (an annual roadworthiness test required in the UK). The court also heard that after the second investigation into Blakelock's death in 1994, it was decided that Jacobs should not be prosecuted.
Awards and memorial
Because it had not been clear who was in charge of the police operation on the night of Blakelock's death, a new "gold–silver–bronze command structure" (strategic–tactical–operational) was created in 1985 that replaced ranks with roles. It is now used by all UK emergency services at every type of major incident.
In 1988 the constables of Serial 502 were awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal, Blakelock posthumously. Sgt David Pengelly, who single-handedly fought to hold the crowd away from Blakelock and Richard Coombes after they fell, received the George Medal, awarded for acts of great bravery. Coombes became one of the subjects of Ranulph Fiennes' book, My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People (2011). A memorial for Blakelock, commissioned by the Police Memorial Trust, now stands by the roundabout at Muswell Hill, north London, where he was a homebeat officer.
- List of British police officers killed in the line of duty
- Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
- Royal Commission on Criminal Justice (Runciman Commission), 1991–1993
- Scarman report
- 2011 England riots
- Timothy Brain, "Handsworth, Brixton, and Broadwater Farm," A History of Policing in England and Wales from 1974: A Turbulent Journey, Oxford University Press, 2010 (hereafter Brain 2010), p. 106ff.
- Kenneth Newman, "Police-Public Relations: The Pace of Change", Police Foundation lecture, July 1986, p. 1.
- "Broadside entitled 'Dreadful Riot in London'", The Word on the Street, National Library of Scotland, accessed 23 July 2013.
- David Rose, Climate of Fear: The Murder of PC Blakelock and the Case of the Tottenham Three, Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd, 1992 (hereafter Rose 1992), pp. 77–84.
- David Rose, "'They created Winston Silcott, the beast of Broadwater Farm. And they won't let this creation lie down and die'", The Observer, 18 January 2004.
- David Rose, "Silcott talks for first time about night of PC's murder", The Observer, 18 January 2004.
- Will Bennett, "Detectives cleared over Silcott case", The Independent, 27 July 1994.
- Paul Peachey, "Man aged 45 denies murdering PC Keith Blakelock during Broadwater Farm riot 28 years ago", The Independent, 7 November 2013.
- Vikram Dodd, "Keith Blakelock murder trial: witnesses took part in attack, court told", The Guardian, 3 March 2014.
- "Metropolitan Police Gallantry Awards", History by the Yard, accessed 8 August 2011.
- Also see "1985: Policeman killed in Tottenham riots", "On This Day," BBC News, accessed 8 August 2011.
- "PC Keith Blakelock Remembered", Metropolitan Police, 8 July 2011.
- "Honour for murdered Pc's son", BBC News, 16 April 2003.
- Rose 1992, p. 27.
- For information about slum clearance, see "The Slum Clearance Movement in the Nineteen Thirties", locallocalhistory.co.uk, accessed 25 August 2011.
- "History of Broadwater Farm", Haringey Council, accessed 30 July 2013.
- "Broadwater Farm, Haringey", Hidden London, accessed 30 July 2013.
- Rose 1992, p. 77.
- Rose 1992, pp. 27–30.
- For the improvements, see Jan Rayner, "In the shadow of the past", The Observer, 19 October 2003.
- Rose 1992, pp. 31–32.
- Brain 2010, p. 110.
- Ellis Cashmore and Eugene McLaughlin (eds.), Out of order? Policing Black People, Routledge 1991, pp. 8, 36–37.
- Cecily Jones, "Broadwater Farm estate: pre-riot problems," in David Dabydeen, John Gilmore, and Cecily Jones (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Black British History, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 72.
- Wouter Vanstiphout, "Blame the Architect", Delft University of Technology, lecture 3, part 1/6, from 10:30 mins, courtesy of YouTube, accessed 30 July 2013.
- The Royal Institute of British Architects blamed instead the local council's policy of "using the estate as a gathering ground for its problem tenants," combined with low rents that left no funds for adequate maintenance. See "Not working on Maggie's farm", editorial, Architects' Journal, 16 October 1985.
- "RIBA blames council for riot 'ghetto'", Architects' Journal, 16 October 1985.
- Ravenscroft, Tom. "From the AJ archive: Broadwater Farm riots, London, 1985", Architects' Journal, 11 August 2011.
- One woman offered a flat there told the Gifford Inquiry into the riots that it was covered in graffiti, had no kitchen sink, no kitchen cupboards, and there was a hole in the floor. See Rose 1992, p. 29.
- Nick Cohen, "Politics of the ghetto", The Observer, 20 October 2005.
- Brain 2010, p. 109.
- "Woman whose shooting sparked Brixton riots", The Daily Telegraph, 29 April 2011.
- Rose 1992, p. 53.
- Rose 1992, pp. 53–56.
- Rose 1992, p 57.
- Rose 1992, p. 57; Brain 2010, p. 111.
- Rose 1992, pp. 61–62, 64.
- Brain 2010, p. 112.
- Brian Jacobs, Black Politics and Urban Crisis in Britain, Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 190, 197.
- Gareth Parry, John Ezard, and Andrew Rawnsley, "Policeman killed in riot", The Guardian, 7 October 1985.
- For the first time shots had been fired, see Brain 2010, p. 112.
- For plastic bullets, see Richard Bessel and Clive Emsley, "Introduction," in Richard Bessel and Clive Emsley (eds.), Patterns of Provocation: Police and Public Disorder, Berghahn Books, 2000, p. 2.
- "Interview with Dave Pengelly", BBC Crimewatch, 26 October 2010.
- Brain 2010, p. 111.
- Ranulph Fiennes, My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2011 (hereafter Fiennes 2011), p. 48.
- "Tottenham riot reminds north London of Broadwater Farm riot in 1985", The Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2011.
- Paul Harris, "The murder of PC Blakelock was so savage witnesses still shake at the memory", The Daily Mail, 18 February 2010.
- "Interview with Richard Coombes," BBC Crimewatch, 26 October 2010.
- Olga Craig, "'They butchered Keith Blakelock and they wanted to butcher me'", The Daily Telegraph, 3 October 2004.
- Brain 2010, p. 113.
- Rose 1992, pp. 85–86.
- "Jury not to see horror pictures", Evening Times, 27 January 1987.
- Terry Lloyd, News At Ten, ITN, 8 October 1985: "Witnesses say that having wrenched his riot helmet from him, his attackers then repeatedly stabbed him in the body, and continuously hacked away at his neck. PC Blakelock lost several fingers as he tried to defend himself before the attackers fled ... Tonight Scotland Yard confirmed that the injuries were so grievous that it did appear the men were trying to behead the officer."
- James McKillop, "Mob attempted to cut off policeman's head, court told", The Glasgow Herald, 22 January 1987.
- Rose 1992, pp. 72–73.
- "Pc's widow in 1985 murder appeal", BBC News, 6 October 2005.
- Fiennes 2011, p. 54.
- Rose 1992, pp. 78–79.
- Joe Dillon, "Millions have lost a friend", The Independent, 9 April 2000.
- Rose 1992, p. 78.
- "Rocky Ride from Fleet Street to Tottenham", New Statesman, Volume 110, 1985, p. 103.
- Rose 1992, pp. 80–81.
- Rose 1992, pp. 82–83.
- Rose 1992, p. 75.
- Peter Victor, "Silcott officer will return in triumph", The Independent on Sunday, 31 July 1994.
- Rose 1992, pp. 86–87.
- David Pallister, "Relatives renew Tottenham Three case plea", The Guardian, 19 March 1991.
- Rose 1992, p. 110.
- Rose 1992, pp. 111–112.
- Rose 1992, pp. 174–175.
- Rose 1992, p. 186.
- Rose 1992, pp. 104–107, 109.
- Rose 1992, pp. 50, 141, 145–146.
- Rose 1992, p. 142.
- Rose 1992, pp. 142, 144–145.
- Rose 1992, p. 145.
- Rose 1992, pp. 151–152.
- Rose 1992, p. 116.
- Rose 1992, pp. 130, 133, 136.
- Rose 1992, pp. 138–139.
- Jason Bennetto, "Britain's most feared Yardie leader jailed", The Independent, 21 May 2002.
- "Britons vexed by election of cop killer", Associated Press, 2 May 1989.
- Rose 1992, p. 115.
- Rose 1992, p. 89.
- Dominic Casciani, "Winston Silcott: An infamous past", BBC News, 20 October 2003.
- Rose 1992, pp. 21–24.
- Rose 1992, pp. 26–27.
- Rose 1992, p. 91.
- Jason Bennetto, "Silcott to be released 18 years after Blakelock murder case", The Independent, 16 October 2003.
- James McKillop, "Second Life Sentence for Blakelock Killer", The Glasgow Herald, 20 March 1987.
- David Rose, "Focus: In the Face of Prejudice", The Independent, 20 September 1998.
- Rose 1992, pp. 93–94.
- Rose 1992, p. 94.
- Rose 1992, pp. 230–233.
- Rose 1992, pp. 234–235.
- Kurt Barling, "Winston Silcott: Not free yet", BBC News, 27 February 2004.
- Dan McDougall, "Winston Silcott calls for inquiry into PC Blakelock murder case", The Scotsman, 3 March 2004.
- Will Bennett, "Detectives 'fabricated Silcott evidence'", The Independent, 29 June 1994.
- Rose 1992, pp. 132–133, 187.
- Rose 1992, pp. 160–161.
- Philip W.H. Fennell, "Mentally Disordered Suspects in the Criminal Justice System", Journal of Law and Society, 21(1), March 1994 (pp. 57–71), p. 64.
- Rose 1992, pp. 217–220.
- Gísli H. Guðjónsson, The Psychology of Interrogations and Confessions: A Handbook, John Wiley and Sons, 2003 (herefter Guðjónsson 2003), pp. 464, 616.
- Rose 1992, pp. 162–164.
- Rose 1992, pp. 169–170.
- Rose 1992, pp. 172–173.
- Rose 1992, p. 182–183.
- For 49 men and youths convicted, see "Britons vexed by election of cop killer", Associated Press, 2 May 1989.
- For 359 arrested and 159 charged, not counting the six, see Rose 1992, p. 186, quoting Roy Amlot, the prosecutor in the case.
- Rose 1992, p. 128, 133.
- For 44 days, see Keith Tompson, Under Siege: Racial Violence in Britain, Keith Teare, 1988 (hereafter Tompson 1988), p. 49.
- Rose 1992, pp. 192–193.
- David Palliser, "Why Met caved in and paid Silcott", The Guardian, 23 October 1999.
- Rose 1992, p. 158.
- Taylor, Diane. "Fall guy", The Guardian, 13 November 2002.
- Diane Taylor, "Free at last, but still a prisoner. Why Winston Silcott refuses to celebrate his release after 17 years inside", The Independent, 22 October 2003.
- Rose 1992, p. 227.
- Also see "Obituary: Sir Derek Hodgson", The Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2002.
- Rose 1992, pp. 193–195.
- Margaret Burnham, The Burnham Report of International Jurists in Respect to Broadwater Farm Trials, Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign, 1987, cited in Tompson 1988, p. 49.
- Rose 1992, pp. 201–203.
- Rose 1992, pp. 201, 204–205.
- David Pallister, "Relatives renew Tottenham Three case plea", The Guardian, 19 March 1991.
- Rose 1992, pp. 206–207, 211–212.
- Rose 1992, pp. 214–215.
- Rose 1992, pp. 215–216.
- Rose 1992, pp. 214, 217.
- Clive Walker, "Miscarriages of Justice in Principle and Practice," in Clive Walker and Keir Starmer (eds.), Miscarriages of Justice: A Review of Justice in Error, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 50.
- Keith J.B. Rix, "Fit to be interviewed by the police?", Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 3, 1997 (pp. 33–40), p. 33.
- Rose 1992, pp. 14–15.
- Brain 2010, pp. 185–186.
- "Silcott police pay-out 'disgraceful'", BBC News, 16 October 1999.
- "Silcott freed from jail", BBC News, 20 October 2003.
- "Police face trial", The Independent, 12 July 1992.
- Will Bennett, "Key 'witness' was not called to give evidence", The Independent, 27 July 1994.
- Bennetto, Jason. "Blakelock and Nickell cases in review of 300 unsolved murders, The Independent, 26 March 1999. "
- "Blakelock murder case under scrutiny", BBC News, 26 March 1999.
- "Remembering PC Keith Blakelock", Metropolitan Police, 6 October 2010.
- Justin Davenport, "House link to death that sparked riot", London Evening Standard, 28 September 2004.
- Rebecca Mowling, "Dramatic Blakelock find", London Evening Standard, 29 September 2004.
- Paul Sims and Rebecca Mowling, "Blade could be murder weapon", London Evening Standard, 30 September 2004.
- Olga Craig, "'They butchered Keith Blakelock and they wanted to butcher me'", The Daily Telegraph, 3 October 2004: "Acting on information from a new witness, they dug up a back garden ... and recovered what may be the murder weapon – a rusting machete."
- "DNA test for Blakelock's uniform", BBC News, 3 October 2004.
- Sandra Laville, "PC Keith Blakelock murder: man arrested 25 years after killing", The Guardian, 9 February 2010.
- On 5 February, a 40-year-old man, originally from Tottenham, was arrested in Suffolk and released on bail after questioning. Two men, aged 46 and 52, who had lived in Tottenham in 1985 were arrested at separate North London addresses in May 2010. See Sean O'Neill, "Two men held over PC Blakelock murder", The Times, 2 June 2010.
- "PC Keith Blakelock murder", BBC Crimewatch, 26 October 2010.
- "CPS Update – Thursday 7 October", CPS News Brief, 7 October 2010.
- Martin Evans, "PC Keith Blakelock: Family welcome murder charge development", The Daily Telegraph, 23 July 2013.
- Stephen Moore, "PC Keith Blakelock murder: Friends pledge to fight Nicky Jacobs’ corner ahead of Old Bailey trial", Tottenham and Wood Green Journal, 24 July 2013.
- Stafford Scott, "PC Blakelock: black people are waiting for justice too", The Guardian, 25 July 2013.
- For the date of birth, see "Nicholas Jacobs charged with murder of PC Keith Blakelock", Crown Prosecution Service, 23 July 2013.
- For full name, "Court Appearances in England and Wales", causelist.org, 4 March 2013.
- Claire Carter and David Barrett, "Pc Keith Blakelock murder: gang of attackers paid for giving evidence", The Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2014.
- Ben Geoghegan, "PC Keith Blakelock: Murder trial told armed mob killed officer", BBC News, 3 March 2014.
- David Barrett, "Pc Keith Blakelock murder trial: rioter 'admitted killing police officer'", The Daily Telegraph, 4 March 2014.
- Josh Halliday, "Keith Blakelock murder accused wrote 'we chop him all over', court told", The Guardian, 4 March 2013.
- Paul Peachey, "PC Keith Blakelock murder trial: Accused man 'wrote rap poem detailing the attack'", The Independent, 4 March 2014.
- David Barrett, [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10681777/Pc-Keith-Blakelock-murder-trial-witnesses-received-cash-and-perks-from-police.html "Pc Keith Blakelock murder trial: witnesses received cash and perks from police"], ''The Daily Telegraph'', 6 March 2014
- "1985 PC Keith Blakelock", Police Memorial Trust.
- (News sources are listed in the Notes section only.)
- Books, chapters and papers
- Bessel, Richard and Emsley, Clive. "Introduction," in Richard Bessel and Clive Emsley (eds.), Patterns of Provocation: Police and Public Disorder, Berghahn Books, 2000.
- Burnham, Margaret. The Burnham Report of International Jurists in Respect to Broadwater Farm Trials, Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign, 1987.
- Brain, Timothy. A History of Policing in England and Wales from 1974: A Turbulent Journey, Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Fennell, Philip W.H. "Mentally Disordered Suspects in the Criminal Justice System", Journal of Law and Society, 21(1), March 1994, pp. 57–71.
- Rose, David. Climate of Fear: The Murder of PC Blakelock and the Case of the Tottenham Three, Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd, 1992.
- Guðjónsson, Gísli H. The Psychology of Interrogations and Confessions: A Handbook, John Wiley and Sons, 2003.
- Jacobs, Brian. Black Politics and Urban Crisis in Britain, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
- Jones, Cecily. "Broadwater Farm estate: pre-riot problems," in David Dabydeen, John Gilmore, and Cecily Jones (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Black British History, Oxford University Press, 2007.
- Rix, Keith J.B. "Fit to be interviewed by the police?", Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 3, 1997, pp. 33–40.
- Vanstiphout, Wouter. "Blame the Architect", Delft University of Technology, lecture 3, part 1/6, from 10:30 mins, courtesy of YouTube, accessed 30 July 2013.
- Walker, Clive. "Miscarriages of Justice in Principle and Practice," in Clive Walker and Keir Starmer (eds.), Miscarriages of Justice: A Review of Justice in Error, Oxford University Press, 1999.
- Athwal, Harmit. "Exhibition tells truth about Broadwater Farm", Institute of Race Relations, 29 September 2011.
- BBC News. "1985: Policeman killed in Tottenham riots", "On this day, 6 October".
- Beaumont, M. "Confessions, Cautions, Experts and the Sub-Normal, after R v Silcott and others," New Law Journal, 28 August 1987, pp. 807–814.
- Gifford, Anthony. The Broadwater Farm Inquiry: Report of the Independent Inquiry into Disturbances of October 1985 at the Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham, 1986.
- Gifford, Anthony. Broadwater Farm revisited, 1989.
- Hall, Stuart. "From Scarman to Stephen Lawrence", History Workshop Journal, 48, Autumn 1999.
- James, Erwin. "His life outside", The Guardian, 30 March 2005.
- Prescott, Andrew. "Writing About Rebellion: Using the Records of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381", History Workshop Journal, vol 1998, issue 45, pp. 1–28.
- Scarman, Leslie George (Lord Scarman).The Scarman Report. The Brixton Disorders, 10–12 April 1981: Report of an Inquiry, Penguin 1986.
- Stubbs, Paul. "Crime, community and the multi-agency approach: a critical reading of the Broadwater Farm Inquiry Report", Critical Social Policy, vol 7, issue 20, September 1987, pp. 30–45.
- The Daily Telegraph. "Tottenham riot reminds north London of Broadwater Farm riot in 1985", 7 August 2011.