THE South Tyneside widow of police officer Pc Keith Blakelock today urged anyone who knows about her husband’s brutal murder to “search your heart and please come forward” to help finally bring his killers to justice.
Her emotional appeal comes a month after Nicky Jacobs was cleared by a jury over the “barbaric” murder of Pc Blakelock 30 years ago.
The married father of three was set upon by an angry 30-strong mob which attacked him with sticks and knives and tried to chop his head off in the infamous murder in the Broadwater Farm riot in Tottenham, north London.
The defenceless officer had been helping to protect firemen who were putting out blazes during the 1985 civil disorder.
But after stumbling the 40-year-old was surrounded by a mob who rounded on him shouting “kill the pig” before stabbing him dozens of times.
His widow, Elizabeth Johnson, of West Boldon, and their three sons, Mark, Kevin and Lee, will tonight make an emotional appeal on ITV News for witnesses to come forward and finally bring the culprits to justice.
In an emotionally-charged interview, Elizabeth told how she is still haunted by the sheer brutality of her husband’s killing.
She said: “We lost Keith but then learning how we lost him. I find that very, very difficult and not right.
“You go out looking for a uniform, a policeman, such as Keith, who all his career just helped people.
“You wouldn’t do that to an animal, let alone a human being.
“That human being was lying there begging you, please, begging you for his life.
“And still, you went at him with whatever implements, weapons. You’ve deprived these boys of a father. Why? Why?
“What I find hard to understand is how can people who witnessed what happened to Keith, so many years down the line, have families of their own, how can they carry that on their conscience?”
And she appealed to those who know the identities of her husband’s killers to search their soul and tell police.
She said: “I would just please ask you to search your heart and please come forward with any information.
“You can never give up hope, then you give up everything. Everything we have been fighting for all these years. None of us will ever give up, no matter what. None of us will give up.”
Despite three high-profile police investigations into the notorious murder, the police have failed to get a single person safely convicted of the killing.
In 1987 six people, including three juveniles, stood trail for Pc Blakelock’s murder.
Three - Winston Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip - were convicted, but their convictions were overturned on appeal in 1991.
And last month Nicky Jacobs, who was just 16 at the time of the killing, was cleared of murdering Pc Blakelock at the Old Bailey.
The officer’s family said they were left “devastated” at the verdict - but told ITV News they refuse to give up the search to find his attackers.
His son, Kevin, said: “People who do horrific acts like this, should not be able to sleep well at night.
“They should always have a thought in their mind that justice will be served one day and the knock will come on the door.”
Pc Blakelock’s son Lee added: “I think it’s fair to say all four of us were devastated. Each of us dealt with that verdict in our own way.”
Lee, who followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the force, added: “Keith was a person. Yes he was a uniform and that’s what they attacked and they killed a police officer but he was a family man.
“I always wanted to join the police, since before my dad died. It was something as a kid I always wanted to do. I’m immensely proud of taking over the mantle of Pc Blakelock.”
* The full interview will be shown on ITV news tonight at 6.30pm and 10pm. Anyone with information about Pc Blakelock’s death should contact the Blakelock incident room on 020 8203 4617.