May 24, 2011
A police officer will face trial for manslaughter over the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests. PC Simon Harwood, 43, a Metropolitan police officer, will face a criminal prosecution for striking Tomlinson with a baton and pushing him to the ground in April 2009. Tomlinson, 47, had been trying to make his way home from work through demonstrations near the Bank of England when he was pushed from behind. He collapsed and died three minutes later. Three weeks ago an inquest jury decided Tomlinson was “unlawfully killed”.
The director of public prosections, Keir Starmer, had announced in July last year that he did not believe there was sufficient evidence for a prosecution due to complications relating to medical evidence. However, he said in a statement today that new information had emerged during the inquest and, while difficulties remained, he now believed there was sufficient evidence to bring criminal proceedings. “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,” he said. “That being the case, it is clearly in the public interest that criminal proceedings be brought.
“Accordingly, a summons charging PC Harwood with the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson has been obtained from the City of Westminster magistrates court. He will appear before that court on 20 June 2011.” The DPP said the inquest had allowed “a degree of clarity” to emerge and had resolved some complications relating to medical evidence.