G20 death: Tomlinson relatives weep at trial footage

  • 19 June 2012
  • From the section UK
PC Simon Harwood
Image caption PC Harwood denies Mr Tomlinson's manslaughter and maintains his actions were proportionate

Relatives of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson wept as footage of his final hours was shown at the trial of the police officer accused of killing him.

PC Simon Harwood, 44, of south London, denies the 2009 manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson, 47, during the G20 protests.

Southwark Crown Court saw a clip of PC Harwood adopting a "strike" position with his baton behind Mr Tomlinson.

Mr Tomlinson's widow and stepson cried as they saw footage of a student trying to help him after he later collapsed.

The prosecution says Mr Tomlinson died in hospital at 20:10 on 1 April 2009 as a result of an injury to his liver, after being hit with a baton and pushed to the ground.

It says he had been helped up and walked about 70m before his collapse.

It argues that Mr Tomlinson had been drinking and was "somewhat oblivious" as he tried to find a way home to Smithfield through protesters demonstrating during the two-day G20 world summit in London and riot police who had taken control of parts of the City.

Police cordon

At the trial on Tuesday, prosecutor Mark Dennis QC played jurors a series of small clips from a variety of sources, including CCTV, an ITN camera and amateur hand-held material.

Image caption Ian Tomlinson, a heavy drinker, died about an hour after being pushed to the ground

The first clip showed protesters shouting and the interaction between PC Harwood and Mr Tomlinson.

Footage showed Mr Tomlinson facing away from the group PC Harwood was with when he was pushed to the ground near the Royal Exchange Buildings. A passer-by was seen helping him to his feet before he walked away.

The court then viewed more detailed footage of Mr Tomlinson's movements before he was hit. He was seen being turned back from a police cordon near Bank station before walking around trying to find another route.

Footage of PC Harwood's movements included a clip that had been posted on the internet, and showed him earlier attempting to arrest a protester who had been writing "all cops are bastards" on the side of a carrier.

The demonstrator wriggled free, leaving the officer holding his jacket, the court heard.

Mr Dennis told the court on Monday that Mr Tomlinson's death was the result of a "gratuitous act of aggression by a lone officer whose blood was up".

Health 'deteriorating'

In his evidence to the court on Tuesday, Tony Taglialavore - a member of staff at Monument tube station - said he had last seen Mr Tomlinson at 12:30 on the day of his death.

He said Mr Tomlinson had complained of pains in his arms.

"He seemed as if he'd had a drink and he was quite quiet for him, usually he was more chatty, and he was very slurred with his words," Mr Taglialavore said.

A newspaper vendor at the station, Barry Smith, said Mr Tomlinson had an injured shoulder which was giving him pain.

IT worker Warren Fraser told the court he saw Mr Tomlinson shortly after 19:00 and that he seemed "slow and sluggish" and had a beer can in his hand.

Mr Fraser said the newspaper vendor would not move out of the way of a police van, giving the impression he was "resisting" police directions.

Another spectator, Colin Smith, said Mr Tomlinson had been "oblivious to what was going on".

Mr Smith said the carrier nudged Mr Tomlinson's legs but he did not react and officers eventually moved him out of the way with a "push or slap" to the back of his neck.

The driver of the carrier, PC Gareth Edwards, said Mr Tomlinson had not reacted to his horn. He said he got within six inches of him but did not hit him with the vehicle.

PC Harwood maintains that his actions against Mr Tomlinson were "necessary, proportionate and reasonable".

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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