The Murder of Police Constable Keith Blakelock. Part 4
Pressure to find the killers
The detectives investigating the murder came under enormous pressure to find the killers, amid tabloid coverage from left wing journalists who claimed, with some justification, that the police were frequently openly racist. Faced with a lack of forensic evidence and a severe lack of witnesses, the police arrested a total of 359 people, many of which were interviewed without lawyers being present. Charges were laid based on just untapped confessions. In the end a total of three adults and three youths were charged with the murder of Constable Blakelock. The three adults came to be known as ‘the Tottenham three.’ They were convicted in 1987. This was followed by a widely supported campaign in an effort to overturn the conviction and this was successful in 1991 the conviction was quashed. This was as a result that the forensic evidence test cast doubts on the authenticity of the detectives notes, ‘taken at the time.’
In 1992 two detectives were charged with perverting the course of justice but were acquitted two years later in 1994.
The police reopened this murder case in 1992 and again in 2003. Ten men were arrested in 2010 on suspicion of the murder and one of them, Nicholas Jacobs was the seventh person to be arrested and charged with the murder. This was as a result of evidence the police had gotten during the 1992 investigation. In April 2014 he was found not guilty.
Constable Keith Blakelock as well as the other constables of ‘Serial 502’ were awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for bravery in 1988. Their sergeant, David Pengelly, who armed only with a shield and a truncheon, placed himself in front of the crowd in an effort to save constable Blakelock and another badly injured officer, received the George Medal, this medal is only awarded for acts of great or exceptional bravery. It was well deserved.
Police Constable Keith Henry Blakelock was born in Sunderland on the 28th June 1945. He joined the Metropolitan Police on the 14th 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 and had three sons, Mark, Kevin and Lee. Lee Blakelock was just 8 years old when his father was murdered. He later became a police officer joining the Durham Constabulary in 2000.
Police Constable Keith Henry Blakelock is buried in East Finchley Cemetery.