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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 December, 2003, 21:01 GMT
New leads in Blakelock murder
Pc Blakelock
Pc Keith Blakelock was hacked to death
Winston Silcott's solicitor says he has "nothing to fear" after Scotland Yard revealed it is following up new leads in the murder of Pc Keith Blakelock.

The policeman was hacked to death by a mob during the Broadwater Farm riots in Tottenham, north London, in 1985.

New information has come to light, which police believe is strong enough to merit further inquiries and could include DNA tests on exhibits.

The case has been controversial, following the wrongful conviction of Mr Silcott, 43, for the murder.

He was cleared at the Court of Appeal in 1991 because of "unsafe" police evidence, but served 17 years in jail for the murder of boxer Anthony Smith.

He was freed in October and accepted 50,000 compensation.

Mr Silcott's solicitor Tony Murphy said: "Mr Silcott has nothing to fear and has never been contacted by the Metropolitan Police during their numerous attempts to reinvestigate this matter.

When the guilty person, or people, are in prison or punished for what they did to Keith then that's the time I will be able to relax a bit
Pc Blakelock's wife Elizabeth Johnson
"Mr Silcott calls for a full public inquiry into his wrongful conviction on the basis of discredited police evidence."

The rule of double jeopardy had previously prevented people being tried twice for the same offence.

But under the new Criminal Justice Act - which has yet to be implemented - someone accused of murder can be tried a second time if new and compelling evidence is brought forward.

The decision by the Metropolitan Police to reopen the investigation has been made following consultation with Pc Blakelock's family and members of the black community.

Winston Silcott
Winston Silcott was cleared of Pc Blakelock's murder

Pc Blakelock's wife, Elizabeth Johnson, who now lives on the outskirts of Sunderland, believes there "will be a conviction at the end of this."

She added: "You have got to believe that the guilty people will be brought to justice and I have believed that all along.

"People who murder people cannot be allowed to roam the streets and think they have got away with it.

"When the guilty person, or people, are in prison or punished for what they did to Keith then that's the time I will be able to relax a bit."

This was a brutal murder on an unarmed police officer who was protecting the local community
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur
Father-of-three Pc Blakelock, 40, who was posthumously awarded the Queen's Medal for Bravery, died after confronting rioters on the Broadwater Farm housing estate.

The riots began after 49-year-old Cynthia Jarrett collapsed and died of heart failure during a police raid on her home.

Detectives are also re-investigating the attempted murder of Pc Richard Coombes during the disturbances.

Both cases have been under review since January 2000, which police say has identified new lines of inquiry.

Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said: "This was a brutal murder on an unarmed police officer who was protecting the local community.

"This new inquiry is a mark of our commitment to protect our police officers and the people they serve and bring to justice those who seek to harm them."




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Daniel Sanford
"The police say they won't be looking at any other offences during the vicious riots"



SEE ALSO:
Silcott vows to clear name
21 Oct 03  |  London


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