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The newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson, who died at the G20 protests in London in 2009, was killed as a result of a baton strike from PC Simon Harwood, Southwark Crown court heard on Monday.

Mark Dennis QC prosecution said Tomlinson was a victim of a "gratuitous act of aggression by a lone officer whose blood was up".

"The assault upon Ian Tomlinson had been an unnecessary and unreasonable use of force by the defendant. Ian Tomlinson was not posing any threat to the defendant or any other police officer," Mr Dennis told the court.

"He was displaying no aggression towards anyone nor even making any provocative comments."

Tomlinson was originally said to have died following a heart attack according to an autopsy carried out by the controversial pathologist Freddy Patel, who was later suspended after concluding a murder victim died of natural causes.

There was an outcry after footage appeared online showing Harwood striking Tomlinson.

"There had been no need to use any force upon Tomlinson, let alone a forceful baton strike followed by a powerful push to the back that sent Ian Tomlinson flying to the ground," Dennis continued.

"The display of force has all the hallmarks of a gratuitous act of aggression by a lone officer whose blood was up, having lost the self control to be expected of a police officer in such circumstances, and who was going to stand no truck from anyone who appeared to be a protester and to be getting in his way."

A second autopsy concluded that Tomlinson died from injury to his liver and internal bleeding which lead to a cardiac arrest.

Harwood denies manslaughter, the trial continues.

Image via Getty

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Death of Ian Tomlinson: Newspaper vendor died after baton strike from PC Simon Harwood, court hears
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