PC Keith Blakelock was hacked to death during the 1985 riots in Tottenham
PC Keith Blakelock was hacked to death during the 1985 riots in Tottenham

A 44-year-old man has been charged with the murder of PC Keith Blakelock, who was killed in the Broadwater Farm riots in north London in 1985.

The 40-year-old officer was attacked as the housing estate in Tottenham went up in flames and he tried to protect firefighters who tackling a blaze in a supermarket.

Blakelock fell to the ground and was stabbed multiple times by a gang of youths armed with knives and machetes.

Nicholas Jacobs has been charged with his murder. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) added that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute four others suspected of taking part in the killing.

Alison Saunders, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: "Following a thorough investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service, we have decided that Nicholas Jacobs should be charged with the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during the disorder at Broadwater Farm in October 1985.

"We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute."

Jacobs will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (24 July) to face the charges.

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 investigation into Blakelock's murder was reopened in 2003 by Scotland Yard after a review suggested there could be new lines of inquiry.

In 2010 following a reinvestigation at a cost of millions of pounds, 14 men, including Jacobs, were arrested in connection with his death and the attempted murder of his colleague, PC Richard Coombes.

Nine men were released without charge and four more were released by Scotland Yard today.