A former heroin addict who waited 24 years to give a police statement after witnessing the murder of PC Keith Blakelock denied today he was a paranoid fantasist as he recounted his account of the barbaric killing.
The man, known only as Q to protect his anonymity, told the Old Bailey that he saw Nicky Jacobs stab the officer during the 1985 Broadwater Farm Estate riots after the officer tripped and was surrounded by a group armed with knives, a metal bar and a machete.
After police posted a card through his door in 2009, Q contacted officers and identified only Mr Jacobs, 45, among the group which kicked and stabbed the fallen officer.
Q said it July 2009 was the first time that he had discussed the case with officers but the court heard that he spoke with police during door-to-door inquiries less than a fortnight after the murder on 6 October 1985, the court heard. A document signed by Q suggested that he had “stayed at home and saw nothing,” said Courtney Griffiths, counsel for the prosecution.
Q said he accepted that it would be a “complete lie” if he had said that but claimed that he had not spoken to police until “many, many years later”.
The court heard that Q had suffered from both heroin and alcohol addiction but he denied suggestions that he suffered from delusions. I’ve never heard anything so crazy,” he said.
“Crazy might be the right word because you do suffer from paranoia, don’t you?” said Mr Griffiths.
“No not at all,” said Q.
“You’ve become a bit of a fantasist, haven’t you?”
“No,” said Q.
The prosecution of Mr Jacobs relies in part on the evidence of three men who are said to have witnessed the attack, including two who admit kicking the officer on the ground and were interviewed extensively during the 1990s, the court has heard.
The court has heard that Q was the cousin of one of the other witnesses and watched from his home on the Broadwater Farm Estate but was not involved in the attack.
However, Q denied today that John Brown - an assumed name - was his cousin and that he had been put up to name Mr Jacobs to collect reward money for help in solving the case. Mr Brown has also previously denied in court fitting up Mr Jacobs to obtain thousands of pounds in reward money.
The trial has heard that PC Blakelock was stabbed some 40 times after he lost contact with an 11-strong team of officers who went on to the estate to protect firefighters dousing flames during the riot.
Three people were convicted of murder in 1987 but their convictions were quashed in 1991 after scientific analysis of their interview notes cast doubt over the case.
Mr Jacobs, from Hackney, denies murder.
The case continues.