The trials of the murder suspects. Part 4
Braithwaite was aged 18 years when the murder took place. He was employed as a Rapper and DJ. He lived with his parents in Islington but he had a girl friend who lived on the Broadwater Farm Estate, with whom he had a child. On the 16th January 12986, a full three months after the murder of PC Keith Blakelock, his name was mentioned for the first time to detectives by a man that they had already arrested, Bernard Kinghorn. During one of the interviews Kinghorn told them that he had seen Mark Braithwaite, whom he admitted he only knew by sight, stab the policeman (Blakelock.) with a kitchen knife. However, Kinghorn later withdrew the allegation. (He told the BBC three years later that what he had said was false.)
Enfield Police Station
Mark Braithwaite was taken to Enfield Police Station and there was interviewed by Det. Sgt. Mc Dermott and Det. Constable Colin Biggar. He was held there for three days and at first denied access to a lawyer, however, on the instructions of Det. Ch. Supt. Melvin who was leading the investigation. In total Braithwaite was interviewed 8 times over the first two days, and with a lawyer present four times, on the third day. During the first 30 hours of his detention he had nothing to eat, and later said in court, as did several other suspects that the heat in the cells was oppressive, making it difficult to breathe at all times.
He at first denied being anywhere near the Farm, then during interview five, he said that he had been in Tangmere block, but had played no role whatsoever in the murder. During interview six he admitted hitting Blakelock with an iron bar in the chest and his leg. However there were no such injuries on Blakelock’s body. In a seventh interview, he said that he had hit a police officer, but that it was not Blakelock. On the basis of this confessional evidence, he was charged with murder.