Pc Simon Harwood, who pushed Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests has admitted that he was “frightened and confused” by the crowd and that he had shoved a BBC cameraman to the ground moments before he struck Tomlinson. Harwood also conceded that Tomlinson did not pose any threat.
Ian Tomlinson was killed during the 2009 G20 protests minutes after being struck with a baton and pushed by a Pc Harwood.
At today’s inquest, Harwood told how he became frightened after being separated from colleagues during the protest.
“I was frightened and confused wondering where I was. I was a bit shaken and unnerved,” Harwood said.
He added that the events were “very dynamic and frightening” and that the crowd was “hostile”.
Harwood admitted that Tomlinson did not pose a threat to anyone
and that he may not have been given a verbal warning to move away from
the police line. Asked whether Tomlinson posed a threat to anyon, the officer replied: “No, I don’t believe he did, no.”
Harwood previously claimed that he had been in a “collision” with the
BBC cameraman minutes earlier, but new video footage reveals that he
actually “pulled” the man to the ground.
Today Harwood was shown video evidence of the incident in court.
Alison Hewitt, counsel for the inquest, asked: “Did you put your hands on him in some way?”
To which Harwood replied: “Yes.”
The incident happened about 10 minutes before Tomlinson was struck and pushed to the ground.
Harwood was watched giving evidence in court today by Tomlinson’s family, including his widow Julia.
Tomlinson’s relatives walked out yesterday when Harwood told the court
he had come to give evidence to “help” the family.
Newspaper-seller Tomlinson had been drinking and was wandering
home to a hostel in Smithfield. Although not part of the G20 protest,
Tomlinson found himself confronted by a line of police. After being
struck to the ground, he staggered about 100 yards before collapsing.
He died soon afterwards.
The hearing continues.
Footage of Pc Harwood striking Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protest in 2009.