Ian Tomlinson PC to be charged with manslaughter

The police officer seen pushing Ian Tomlinson to the ground shortly before his death at the G20 protest will face a manslaughter charge.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said today there were now grounds to take the case to court.

Last month a jury recorded a verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest into death of the newspaper vendor, whose family were from the Isle of Dogs, at the April 2009 demonstrations.

Mr Starmer said last year the conflicting medical evidence in pathologists’ reports made it impossible to bring a manslaughter charge.

But the original report by Dr Freddy Patel was questioned at the inquest and Mr Starmer said a charge was now possible.

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But in a statement today he explained: “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.”

He said the case had moved on in two ways – the new medical evidence and the accounts and opinions given by medical experts at the inquest.

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He added that the medical evidence around the cause of death “has clearly changed”.

Tomlinson’s stepson, Paul King, said the family welcomed the decision to bring charges, adding: “We believe this is the right decision. What we have always wanted is to achieve justice for Ian and to show that police officers are not above the law.”

The Metropolitan Police has on-going misconduct proceedings being brought against PC Harwood.

The Met said today: “It remains our intention to hold misconduct proceedings as soon as possible. Now the CPS has made a decision we will consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions regards the timing of misconduct proceedings.”

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