The police officer who struck Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protest in London may face charges of manslaughter after a jury ruled that the newspaper vendor – who died after being struck with a police baton – was “unlawfully killed”.
Now Britain’s director of public prosecutions is considering whether to prosecute Pc Simon Harwood, the police officer who struck Ian Tomlinson, for manslaughter.
Tomlinson, 47, was on his way home from work when he walked through the G20 protests. Video footage shows him being hit from behind by Pc Harwood. Tomlinson is seen to stagger off and collapse. He died soon later.
Yesterday, the jury returned their verdict that Tomlinson died of internal bleeding in the abdomen after being struck with a baton and pushed to the ground with “excessive and unreasonable” force.
For legal reasons, the jury’s verdict could not name or blame Pc Harwood .
However, the verdict did say that Tomlinson’s death came after he was “fatally injured.”
The jury said that Tomlinson’s death was “a result of a baton strike from behind and a push in the back by a police officer which caused Mr Tomlinson to fall heavily.
“Both the baton strike and the push were excessive and unreasonable. As a result, Mr Tomlinson suffered internal bleeding which led to his collapse within a few minutes and his subsequent death.”
On hearing the jury’s verdict, director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said he would be reviewing his earlier decision not to bring criminal prosecutions against Pc Harwood.
“That review will now take place and will be thorough,” he said.
“It will take into account all of the evidence now available, including any new evidence that emerged at the inquest, the issues left by the coroner to the jury and the conclusions they reached. The review will be conducted as quickly as is compatible with the care and rigour required in a thorough exercise.”
Ian Tomlinson’s son Paul King said that he would like to see Pc Harwood held accountable for his father’s death:
“It’s been proven that Ian was killed unlawfully. Now we’d like to go to court and continue with the manslaughter charges,” King said.
The Met has apologised to Tomlinson’s family, saying in a statement: “It is a matter of deep regret that the actions of an MPS officer have been found to have caused the death of a member of the public.”