G20 Pc faces misconduct charge over Ian Tomlinson death

Ian Tomlinson being given treatment after collapsing at the G20 Ian Tomlinson died despite receiving medical attention at the scene of the clashes

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A police officer filmed pushing a man to the ground during the G20 protests is to face a police misconduct hearing.

Ian Tomlinson, 47, died after being caught up in the clashes on 1 April 2009 in the City of London.

In July the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to press criminal charges against Pc Simon Harwood.

He will face a charge of gross misconduct at a disciplinary hearing, which could be held in the next 30 days and could be conducted in public.

The constable, from the Metropolitan Police territorial support group, faces dismissal without notice if the allegations are proven.

Pc Harwood is accused of hitting the newspaper seller with his baton and pushing him to the ground in actions that "inadvertently caused or contributed" to his death.

He is also accused of using force that "was not necessary, proportionate or reasonable in the circumstances".

Deborah Glass, IPCC deputy chair: "there has been an overwhelming public feeling that the officer...should be held accountable"

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is consulting with the Tomlinson family, the officer and 105 potential witnesses on whether to hold the misconduct hearing in public.

Deborah Glass, the IPCC deputy chair and commissioner for London, said: "From the moment the video was published to the world in April 2009, there has been an overwhelming public feeling that the officer seen to strike Ian Tomlinson should be held accountable for his actions."

She added: "Because of the gravity and exceptional circumstances of this case, I consider that it may be in the public interest for me to direct that the hearing be held in public."

Mr Tomlinson, a newspaper seller who was not involved in the protests, was walking home when he was caught up in the demonstration.

The video footage showed him being apparently struck by a baton and then pushed to the ground.

Allegations against Pc Harwood

  • That he struck Mr Tomlinson on his left thigh with his baton
  • That he pushed Mr Tomlinson so he fell to the ground
  • Such dangerous actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the death of Mr Tomlinson
  • The use of force was not necessary, proportionate or reasonable in the circumstances

He was seen moving away after the incident but was found collapsed 100m away in Cornhill.

The CPS decided not to press criminal charges as there was "sharp disagreement between the medical experts" about the cause of death, which led to three post-mortem examinations being conducted on Mr Tomlinson.

The first examination by Dr Freddy Patel found he died of natural causes linked to coronary artery disease.

The second pathologist, Dr Nat Cary, found he died of internal bleeding as a result of blunt force trauma, in combination with cirrhosis of the liver.

The third examination agreed with the findings of the second test. It was conducted on behalf of the officer.

'Extremely complex'

Dr Patel was earlier this month suspended for three months by the General Medical Council after concerns over his post-mortem examination.

About 1,500 pages were served on Mr Harwood on Monday after the IPCC reviewed 14,000 documents, a Met spokesman said.

The spokesman added that the disciplinary proceedings so far had been "extremely complex with extensive legal consultation over the process and nature of the allegations".

No date has been set for the hearing, which will be presided over by two senior Metropolitan Police officers and an independent member of the public selected from a list appointed by the Metropolitan Police Authority.

The misconduct hearing must normally be heard within 30 days of papers being served but can be adjourned if necessary, the spokesman added.

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