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Rioters "passed police helmet round like a trophy" after death of Sunderland PC Keith Blakelock

Rioters "passed a police helmet round like a trophy" after PC Keith Blakelock was killed in Broadwater Farm disturbances in London in 1985, a jury has heard.

PC Blakelock, from Sunderland
PC Blakelock, from Sunderland, was killed during riots in London in 1985

A witness known as Rhodes Levin, to protect his identity, told the Old Bailey he saw the defendant, Nicky Jacobs, kicking and punching the officer.

Levin, who himself admits kicking PC Blakelock "a few times", said he had seen Jacobs carrying a lock knife with a blade of around six inches.

He said that immediately afterwards Jacobs had told him he had "got a couple of dukes in" on the policeman, who was from Wearside.

Levin told the court that he saw a police helmet but could not remember who was holding it.

"They were passing it around, showing it," he said. "Like I say, it was like a trophy."

The witness said that days after the attack he had met Jacobs, who again boasted of getting "a couple of stabs" in on the officer.

Levin, who has convictions relating to Class A drugs, was sentenced for affray and handling stolen goods in relation to the riots, the court heard.

He was paid around £5,000 and given immunity from prosecution after providing information to a renewed investigation into PC Blakelock's killing in the 1990s.

Nicky Jacobs denies murder and the case continues.

Sunderland to take on Crystal Palace in relegation clash

Up for a challenge: Gus Poyet is desperate to dodge relegation. Credit: PA
In the same boat: Tony Pulis's Crystal Palace also risk going under. Credit: PA
Back in action: the expected return from injury of defender Wes Brown will be a boost for the Black Cats. Credit: PA

Sunderland will welcome South Londoners Crystal Palace to the Stadium of Light this afternoon.

The encounter will be a key relegation clash. The Black Cats are 19th in the Premier League with 24 points but they have only played 26 games. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are 16th with 28 points but they have played 28 games. Kick-off is at 3pm. You can see more on all the day's action here.

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Nick Clegg says City Deal is cause for optimism in Sunderland and South Tyneside

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has visited Sunderland to announce a new City Deal investment, which he said would bring thousand of jobs to the North East. It includes plans for a new industrial park on Wearside, next to the existing Nissan factory.

He spoke to ITV News Tyne Tees correspondent Helen Ford, who asked him how he could be so sure that the jobs would come.

City Deal promise of thousands of new jobs for Sunderland and South Tyneside

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has promised to bring thousands of jobs to the North East and build a new bridge over the River Wear, as part of the new City Deal for Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Mr Clegg announced the funding during a visit to Nissan this morning Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

The deal also includes plans for a new business park to be built on land next to Nissan on Wearside, which could bring up to 5,000 jobs.

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Nick Clegg announces City Deal for Sunderland

Nick Clegg/Helen Ford
Nick Clegg talks to ITV Tyne Tees' Helen Ford about the City Deal funding Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a multi-million pound investment, to help create thousands of manufacturing jobs and improve transport links on Wearside.

The Sunderland City Deal includes the development of a new International Advanced Manufacturing Park next to the Nissan site.

There will be £80m of government funding to build the long-awaited new bridge over the River Wear.

A Central Business District will also be developed on the site of the former Vaux Brewery in the city centre.

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After stabbing, I kicked him about ten times

Eyewitness 'John Brown', a former member of the Park Lane Boys gang, who accepted a caution for assaulting his partner in 2010, said defendant Nicky Jacobs used a machete with a 12-inch blade during the attack on Pc Keith Blakelock.

He told the jury that he himself had kicked the officer some 10 times after he went to the ground.

Asked why, he said: "Looking back on it I don't know...It was the excitement of the situation, I just rushed forward and kicked him about ten times."

The witness said he had been paid a £5,000 reward by the police after giving a statement during a renewed police investigation into the killing in 1993.

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