UK policeman faces court over G20 deathReviewed by Sandrea on Jun 20Rating:
A LONDON policeman accused of killing a man at the G20 protests in 2009 is due to face court on Monday.
Constable Simon Harwood will appear before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson, who collapsed and died after being pushed to the ground by Harwood on the fringes of the demonstrations in central London.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) charged Harwood over the death last month after reviewing an inquest jury’s unlawful killing verdict.
No charges were originally brought against Harwood because the Crown Prosecution Service said conflicting post-mortem examination verdicts meant they could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Tomlinson’s death was caused by the policeman’s actions.
However, DPP Keir Starmer QC said new medical evidence at the inquest and the opinions of experts during the hearing helped change his mind.
“The difficulties that would now confront any prosecution have changed in nature and scale from last year when a decision was taken not to prosecute, although it is clear that real difficulties remain,” Starmer said in a statement last month.
Tomlinson, a homeless 47-year-old newspaper seller, was shoved to the ground by Harwood as he tried to find his way out of the cordon thrown up to contain protests in central London.
He collapsed and died moments afterward.
His death became an international controversy after video footage emerged of Tomlinson being pushed to the ground by a police officer.
CCTV images, police helicopter footage and hand-held video recordings show Tomlinson staggering away from the police cordon after being hit with a baton.
Footage then showed Tomlinson gesturing to police and appearing angry after being sent tumbling to the ground.