Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed by police officer at G20 protest, says jury

Tomlinson was hit with a baton an pushed to the floor on the evening of April 1, 2009, while the G20 protests - which he was not a part of - were taking place.

The jury found that the force used by the police officer was 'excessive and unreasonable', and that he had acted acted illegally, recklessly and dangerously in shoving Mr Tomlinson - who 'posed no threat' - to the ground. The jurors found that he died from internal bleeding, caused by a combination of the baton strike and the push.

Criminal proceeding could now reopen against Pc Simon Harwood, the officer who pushed Tomlinson (who the jurors did not identify by name for legal reasons). Prosecutors said last year that a decision not to pursue charges against Pc Harwood could be reviewed in the light of the inquest's findings.

Evidence from both Pc Harwood and pathologist Dr Freddy Patel was discredited as part of the verdict, which will prompt reviews by both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police. Dr Patel's claim that Mr Tomlinson died of a heart attack was rejected by the jury in favour of a string of experts who said he died of internal bleeding.

Pc Harwood was accused of misleading the inquest by Matthew Ryder QC, acting for Tomlinson's family, who said he told 'half truths' and 'deliberately painted a false picture of Mr Tomlinson'.

Members of Tomlinson's family reportedly shouted 'Yes!' and broke down in tears when the jury's verdict was announced.

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