The man accused of killing PC Keith Blakelock during the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots will stand trial in March.

Nicolas Jacobs, 44, is accused of stabbing the 40-year-old officer while he tried to protect firefighters tackling a blaze in a supermarket in Tottenham, north London.

Jacobs appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from Belmarsh prison to confirm his name. A provisional trial date was set for 4 March next year.

He is due to appear in court for a plea hearing in the week beginning 28 October. He has been remanded in custody until then and no application for bail was made.

Jacobs, who would have been 16 at the time of Blakelock's murder, was arrested in 2010 after Scotland Yard reopened the investigation into the policeman's death.

Before his court appearance, a photograph of Jacobs was released of him holding a poster which proclaimed his innocence.

The poster, which contained spelling mistakes, read: "I did not murder PC Blakelock. I was not there when PC Blakelock was murderd. I don't know who murderd PC Blakelock. I'm innocent."

The image was released by Stafford Scott, from campaign group Tottenham Rights, following Jacob's first court appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Scott told the Mirror: "I'm an active member of the community, a friend of Jacobs and I am concerned that justice is done. Our community has never received justice.

"They are doing this out of desperation because they need a scapegoat after spending hundreds of millions of pounds in one of the most expensive investigations in the history of British policing."

Winston Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip were originally convicted in March 1987 of the murder but all three convictions were quashed four and a half years later.

The riots at Broadwater Farm in October 1985 followed the death of Cynthia Jarrett , who collapsed as police searched her home looking for stolen goods following the arrest of her son.