December 1984: Anthony Smith stabbed to death at party in Hackney, north London.

January 1985: Silcott charged with Smith murder.

July 1985: Silcott granted bail, on grounds that evidence appears weak.

October 1985: PC Keith Blakelock murdered in riot at Broadwater Farm, Tottenham. Within days, Silcott arrested and charged as alleged ringleader.

January 1986: Silcott tried and convicted of murder of Anthony Smith. Receives life sentence.

January-March 1987: Blakelock murder trial. Three juveniles acquitted, after judge rules their confessions were "fantasy", the result of illegal and oppressive detention. Silcott, Engin Raghip and Mark Braithwaite convicted and sentenced to life, on confession evidence alone.

November 1989: Lord Chief Justice Lane refuses leave to appeal.

Summer 1991: Silcott's lawyers conduct forensic tests on Silcott's confession to Blakelock killing. Silcott granted fresh appeal by Home Secretary.

November 1991: Blakelock convictions quashed. Judges apologise for police "perjury". Raghip and Braithwaite freed.

December 1995: Silcott's lawyers submit dossier of new evidence, arguing Silcott killed Anthony Smith in self-defence. Police inquiry begins.

September 1998: Criminal Cases Commission indicates it is about to rule on whether to refer Smith murder back to the Court of Appeal.