Monday 22 January 2018

Police officer cleared of killing G20 protester Tomlinson

PC Simon Harwood who was today cleared at Southwark Crown Court of killing Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests.
PC Simon Harwood who was today cleared at Southwark Crown Court of killing Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests.
Julia Tomlinson, the widow of Ian Tomlinson, her son Paul King.
Ian Tomlinson before he was pushed by a police officer at the G20 protests. Credit: City of London Coroner's Court/PA Wire

Victoria Ward in London

A police officer was yesterday cleared of killing newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in London in 2009.

Concerns about Simon Harwood's alleged previous 'heavy handed policing' were only disclosed after his acquittal.

PC Harwood (45) shoved the 47-year-old father of nine, from behind and then hit him with his baton, causing him to fall heavily to the ground.

Minutes later, Mr Tomlinson, pictured left, collapsed and died on the street.

The act was described by the prosecution as a "gratuitous act of violence by an officer whose blood was up".

However, the jury of five men and seven women returned a not guilty verdict after 18 hours and 45 minutes of deliberation, prompting Mr Tomlinson's widow, Julia, to break down and walk from Southwark Crown Court.

The verdict comes 14 months after an inquest jury ruled that Mr Tomlinson was unlawfully killed, prompting the Crown Prosecution Service, which had initially declined to prosecute, to reverse its decision.

Paul King, Mr Tomlinson's step-son, broke down as he spoke on behalf of the family outside the court. "We are not giving up on justice for Ian," he said.

"There has to be one more final and formal answer as to who killed Ian Tomlinson and that we will pursue in a civil court."

It can now be revealed that PC Harwood's attack on the homeless alcoholic marks the low point of a police career blighted by violent outbursts.

Ten allegations had been made against the officer during his career before his encounter with Mr Tomlinson. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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