Friday, 20 July 2012

A Travesty of Justice!

In another of my Victor Meldrew moments I am amazed that the courts have cleared PC Harwood of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson, I am amazed at this Travesty of Justice!

The mobile phone recording showed that:-

  • PC Harwood launched an unprovoked attack.
  • PC Harwood attacked Mr Tomlinson as he walked away with his hands in his pockets and his back to the police lines. 
  • PC Harwood hit Mr Tomlinson with a police baton from behind. 
  • PC Harwood then pushed him from behind to the ground.
  • No officer other than PC Harwood was demonstrating any aggression at that moment in time. 
  • PC Harwood said he used "reasonable force" when he attacked Mr Tomlinson.  

For years the definition of reasonable force has been subject to a great deal of speculation. PC Harwood has now set the standard that others can compare their reasonableness against. 

Mr Tomlinson walked on for 75 yards before he collapsed. He died later in hospital from internal injuries. The court case was as a result of an inquest into Mr Tomlinson's death was held last year, when the jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission's deputy chairwoman, Deborah Glass, has now ordered that Pc Simon Harwood will now face Metropolitan Police disciplinary proceedings that are to be held in public.

It as now been reported that Mr Harwood also faced a string of allegations about his previous behaviour as a serving police officer. 

Ms Glass said "it was staggering that he managed to medically retire from the Met while facing disciplinary proceedings for an alleged road rage incident - and despite this was later re-employed by the force as a police officer specialising in public order."

Deborah Glass said: "While the jury has today acquitted Pc Simon Harwood of manslaughter, it is clear that significant questions remain in connection with his actions on the day Ian Tomlinson died. Whether or not those actions were reasonable will be tested further at a misconduct hearing in September, which I have directed will be held in public. There are also questions in this case that the Metropolitan Police Service must answer."

Mr Tomlinson's family broke down outside the court and stepson Paul King called the verdict "a joke" and vowed to pursue the issue in the civil courts.


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