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PC Keith Blakelock murder witness: All blacks look alike

Police officers in riot gear on the Broadwater Farm housing estate Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption PC Keith Blakelock was among a group of uniformed officers sent to protect firefighters

A witness in the PC Keith Blakelock murder trial has told the Old Bailey that "all blacks look alike" to him.

The witness, who is using the pseudonym John Brown, has told the court he saw Nicholas Jacobs stab the officer during the Broadwater Farm riots.

When questioned in court if he thought all black people looked alike, Mr Brown answered: "More or less."

Mr Jacobs, 45, denies murdering PC Blakelock, who was repeatedly stabbed by a mob in Tottenham in October 1985.

Image caption Nicholas Jacobs was arrested following a renewed police investigation

'Not racist'

The court heard that during a police interview in August 1993 Mr Brown was asked who he had seen take part in the attack.

He replied: "It's very hard for me because, like, I'm not a racist person but to me a black is a black, all right?

"I can't tell the difference between them. To me a black man is a black man."

When asked by Courtenay Griffiths QC, who is defending Mr Jacobs, if he still thought this way, Mr Brown said: "More or less".

During the police interview Mr Brown, a former member of the Park Lane Boys gang, admitted he frequently carried a knife.

The jury also heard that before deciding to co-operate with the police, the witness had asked if he could get "a better house in a nice area" if he went into witness protection.

'Thick of the action'

"I was just looking for a better world to make sure my family was OK," he said in court.

Mr Brown admitted he kicked PC Blakelock up to 10 times only after receiving £240 to pay for car repairs, the court heard.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption PC Keith Blakelock was stabbed 43 times, the Old Bailey has heard

Asking Mr Brown why he told police he had kicked PC Blakelock, Mr Griffiths said: "You appreciated that, in order to give your account any kind of credibility, you had to put yourself in the thick of the action, didn't you?" Mr Brown replied: "Which I was."

Police had paid for Mr Brown's mobile phone to be topped up so they could keep in touch with him and he also received £590 towards his rent in January 2011, the jury was told.

Previously the court has heard that Mr Brown and another key witness received about £5,000 from the Metropolitan Police during a renewed investigation into the killing in the 1990s.

The trial continues.

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