Killer Silcott released from jail

Winston Silcott, the man convicted and later cleared on appeal of murdering PC Keith

Blakelock, has been released on licence after serving 17 years for the murder of another man.

He walked free from Blantyre House open prison in Kent on Friday.

His release came after the announcement last week that ministers and the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, had approved a Parole Board decision that Silcott was no longer a danger to the public.

His solicitor, Tony Murphy, said Silcott "remains intent on proving his innocence" of the murder of Anthony Smith, 24, whom he stabbed to death in a fight in December 1984.

Officer killed

It was while on bail awaiting trial for that offence that Silcott was accused of being part of the mob which set upon Pc Blakelock.

The officer was hacked to death during the Broadwater Farm riots in Tottenham, north London, in October 1985.

In March 1987, Silcott was convicted of murdering Pc Blakelock but the verdict was overturned on appeal as "unsafe" in 1991 because of tainted police evidence.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said Silcott had been due for release tomorrow morning but as he was already out of jail, arrangements will be made for him to sign his life licence at an undisclosed location.

Last week the officer's widow, Elizabeth Johnson - who has now remarried - said from her home in Boldon Colliery, near Sunderland: "If the man is going to be let out of prison, then nothing I can do will change that.

"In a way it must be felt that this person has done his time, but to me life should mean life.

"But I do believe that guilty people will be brought to justice and we will see people being punished for what they did to Keith."


Silcott's solicitors have pointed out that his original sentence came with a 14-year tariff and he has now served more than 17.

The 43-year-old maintains that he was acting in self-defence when he fatally stabbed Mr Smith with a knife at a party in east London.

He was expected to return to his former home area in Tottenham and will be required to comply with strict licence conditions for the rest of his life.

Deterioration in his behaviour or committing another offence would see him sent back to custody.

Reports suggested he will live with his parents Walter and Mary in their Victorian terrace house two miles from the Broadwater Farm estate.

Silcott was awarded £17,000 in compensation by the Home Secretary for his wrongful conviction in the Blakelock case and in 1999 received a further £50,000 from the Metropolitan Police in settlement of a civil claim.

In 1979, Silcott was acquitted of a murder charge regarding the stabbing of 19-year-old postal worker Lennie McIntosh.

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