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'Flame-Thrower' Used To Attack Blakelock Unit
A flame-thrower was used by rioters who attacked Pc Keith Blakelock's unit during the first Tottenham riots, a court has heard.
PC Alan Tappy said "shiny knives" and a "flame-type thrower" were seen during the 1985 disturbances as bricks, bottles and petrol bombs rained down on officers.
The claim was made in a statement given just days after the attack which was read out at the Old Bailey, where Nicky Jacobs, 45, is on trial accused of murdering PC Blakelock.
The riots, on the night of October 6, 1985, saw a group of officers trying to protect firefighters coming under attack by a mob of around 150 youths on the Broadwater Farm estate.
PC Tappy said that as officers tried to escape, he spotted a "bundle on the grass" which the mob was "stabbing and clubbing".
Describing the aftermath he said: "Keith was lying face-down and I thought he was dead.
"We grabbed hold of Keith's shoulders and made an attempt to move him but couldn't. I remember one side of his neck had a wound, a gaping wound."
PC Tappy said his colleague was still alive as the unit tried to drag him to safety.
Giving evidence, one of the firefighters who came under attack said the noise made by the mob was "equivalent to someone scoring a goal at a football match".
Assistant divisional officer Trevor Stratford told the jury he was assisted by PC Blakelock as they tried to make their escape.
As they made their way out of the building where firefighters had been tackling a fire, they were blocked by protesters with their faces covered.
He said: "This is a living memory for me. The first thing that came to mind was 'they are going to cut us off' because of the numbers involved."
He said that at one point he turned and saw that PC Blakelock had fallen to the ground.
He told the court he wanted to go back but then witnessed how the police officer was "enveloped" by a group of eight or nine rioters.
He said he then saw around 20 to 25 people stabbing and kicking the officer.
"They were pushing each other out of the way to get into the centre of the group."
Asked if he could remember any weapons being used, he said he saw "what appeared to be something like a sword".
As the crowd began to disperse back into the building he said he ran back to where Pc Blakelock had fallen.
He and another police officer managed to drag the wounded officer away.
"I was conscious of him having a knife embedded up to the handle underneath his ear and injuries to his neck," he said.
He said he tried to give the wounded man first aid, but added "it was like trying to do cardiac compression on a pillow, there was no bone structure there and so I shouted for an ambulance".
Jacobs denies murder.
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