Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Justice for Ian' as Met PC Is Charged with G20 Riot Killing

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Justice for Ian' as Met PC Is Charged with G20 Riot Killing

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Bentham; Kiran Randhawa

A METROPOLITAN Police constable was today charged with the manslaughter of news vendor Ian Tomlinson.

Simon Harwood, 44, will go on trial for killing Mr Tomlinson at the G20 protests after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, found that there was sufficient evidence to justify a charge.

He said that significant new medical evidence had emerged at the inquest into Mr Tomlinson's death.

The decision represents a huge victory for Mr Tomlinson's family, who have campaigned for charges to be brought since his death on April 1 2009 following a clash with Pc Harwood.

Mr Tomlinson's stepson Paul King said: "We have always wanted to achieve justice for Ian and to show police officers are not above the law."

Mr Tomlinson, 47, died after being hit and then pushed to the ground by Pc Harwood. Jurors ruled he was unlawfully killed after Pc Harwood used "excessive and unreasonable" force.

Today Mr Starmer, who declined to bring a prosecution last year, said the situation had "moved on" since his original decision was taken.

He said further testimony at the inquest had created a "degree of clarity" about conflicting medical evidence which previously prevented a charge.

"Taking the evidence as it now stands, we have concluded that, even with those remaining difficulties, there is now sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of successfully prosecuting Pc Simon Harwood for the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson. That being the case, it is clearly in the public interest that criminal proceedings be brought."

Video footage showed the Met officer pushing Mr Tomlinson to the ground as he walked away from police lines.

Prosecutors had previously ruled out a manslaughter charge because of what Mr Starmer said was an "irreconcilable conflict" between the findings of Dr Freddy Patel, who conducted the first post-mortem on Mr Tomlinson, and two other pathologists. …

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