Ian Tomlinson death: PC cleared

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  • Introduction: 1 of 6

    PC Simon Harwood has been found not guilty of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson, pictured below. Mr Tomlinson died on 1 April 2009 during the G20 protests in London. He was caught up in the demonstrations as he walked home.

    He died shortly after he was pushed to the ground by PC Harwood. The court heard the push was a "gratuitous act of aggression" directly linked to Mr Tomlinson's death, but PC Harwood said he had simply used "reasonable force in order to clear police lines".

    Trace the journey using the arrows above.

    CCTV image of Ian Tomlinson
  • Journey begins: 2 of 6

    Mr Tomlinson did not have a full time job but often helped friends with a newspaper stand at Monument Tube station. He began his journey home shortly before 19:00. Mr Tomlinson was an alcoholic and had been known to sleep rough. The court was told he had been drinking alcohol since that morning.

    He set off down King William Street on his way to the hostel he was staying at in Smithfield.

    But he soon found his way was blocked by the police and protesters gathered in the streets around Bank. Thousands of people had been demonstrating across the City that day.

    Ian Tomlinson blocked by police
  • Road block: 3 of 6

    Unable to go down King William Street, Mr Tomlinson took a diversion. CCTV picked up his route again as he reached Lombard Street.

    PC Harwood was nearby in Cornhill. He had attempted to arrest a protester who had been writing: "All cops are bastards," on the side of a police van, see video below. He had joined the Metropolitan Police in 2004, as part of the Territorial Support Group.

    The prosecution said PC Harwood's failure to arrest the vandal had left him in a state where his "blood was up". The officer said: "To me it was as if everyone was out for me because of what I'd done trying to arrest the graffiti man."

    play
    Video footage recorded at the G20 protests in London on 1 April 2009 shows the moment PC Simon Harwood tried and failed to arrest a protester for scrawling graffiti on a police carrier.
  • Diversion: 4 of 6

    Mr Tomlinson's way was blocked by police officers as he tried to navigate the alleyways between Lombard Street and Cornhill.

    PC Harwood had joined other police officers on Threadneedle Street, to the north of Cornhill. He had been in charge of a police van, but he left his position following the attempted arrest of the graffiti man.

    The policeman's path would shortly collide with that of Mr Tomlinson as several officers did a sweep of Royal Exchange Buildings.

    CCTV image of Ian Tomlinson
  • Pushed over: 5 of 6

    Mr Tomlinson wanted to walk through Royal Exchange Buildings to continue going home. But as the police attempted to clear the alley, Mr Tomlinson was one of those in the way. He was struck from behind on the leg by a baton wielded by PC Harwood. He was then pushed to the ground. PC Harwood told the court he had pushed Mr Tomlinson "firmly" but had not meant to push him over.

    Mr Tomlinson had been unable to break his fall as his hands had been in his pockets.

    play
    Video footage from 1 April 2009 shows Ian Tomlinson being turned away from a line of officers in Royal Exchange Passage, London and struck with a baton before being pushed over.
  • Collapse: 6 of 6

    After being helped up by a passer-by, Mr Tomlinson continued down Cornhill for approximately 70m (230ft), before collapsing.

    He received treatment at the scene and died later in hospital at 20:10.

    Initially, a Home Office pathologist said a heart attack had been the cause of death, but further post-mortem examinations indicated Mr Tomlinson had died from an injury to his liver that caused internal bleeding and a cardiac arrest.

    Image of Ian Tomlinson lying on the ground

Source for route: Inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson. Parts of route and some timings are approximate.

Produced by John Walton, Claire Shannon, Laurian Gridinoc, John Galliver and Luke Ward.

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