Nicky Jacobs, 45, is accused of being part of an armed mob which stabbed to death the 40-year-old beat bobby as he tried to protect firefighters tackling a blaze on the Broadwater Farm Estate on October 6, 1985.
After the prosecution closed its case, the judge Mr Justice Nicol asked defence lawyer Courtenay Griffiths QC if he had advised his client that if he chooses not to give evidence "the jury may draw such inference from his failure to do so".
Mr Griffiths replied: "I have advised him and the defendant chooses to exercise his right not to give evidence."
Jacobs, who was 16 at the time of the riots, denies murder. The trial continues.