Officer faces misconduct hearing over death of Ian Tomlinson
PUBLISHED: 14:09 29 November 2010 | UPDATED: 16:00 29 November 2010
IAN Tomlinson’s family said they have little hope of seeing justice for him as the Met announced the officer who attacked him in the G20 protests will face a misconduct hearing.
PC Simon Harwood will have to answer allegations that he “pushed and struck Mr Tomlinson, and that such dangerous actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the death of Mr Tomlinson,” the force said in a statement today.
But the family of the former newspaper vendor said the hearing has taken too long to come and will not help them in their quest for justice.
Paul King, Mr Tomlinson’s son, said: “There will nothing in the hearing that will convey how we feel about our dad and what happened to him.
“They’ll all move on after the hearing is over but that will just be the start of it for us because for almost two years we haven’t had a chance to really grieve our dad.”
PC Harwood escaped criminal charges from the Crown Prosecution Service in July for hitting the East End newspaper vendor during the protests of April 1 2009.
He was caught on camera striking the 47-year-old with a baton in an unprovoked attack and then pushing him to the ground.
The vendor, whose family live on the Isle of Dogs, was walking home from work and was not a part of the protests.
Contradictory results from two post-mortem examinations on Mr Tomlinson made it difficult for criminal charges to be brought against PC Harwood.
The first, carried out by Dr Freddy Patel, said he had died from a heart attack while the second, carried out on behalf of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), concluded internal bleeding had caused his death.
Dr Patel was suspended from the medical register for three months in September for unacceptable conduct in three unrelated examinations.
The Met today described the current investigation as “extremely complex with extensive legal consultation over the process and nature of the allegations”.
A panel made up of three people – two senior Met police officers and an independent member of the public selected from a list complied by the Metropolitan Police Authority – will decide any action to be taken against PC Harwood.
He faces a maximum penalty of being struck of the force without notice.
The internal disciplinary procedure is being brought by the Met in conjunction with the IPCC.