Tomlinson family to receive 'sympathy' letter from Met

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFootage showed police push Mr Tomlinson - video courtesy

Scotland Yard is to write to Ian Tomlinson's family to express sympathy for his death, it has emerged, a day after a Met Police officer was cleared of his manslaughter.

PC Simon Harwood, 45, of south London, was found not guilty after a trial.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Maxine de Brunner will send the letter, and it is understood she may be willing to meet the Tomlinsons if they request it.

His family want an apology and an acceptance of liability from the Met.

'Conflicting verdicts'

The Tomlinsons' lawyer Jules Carey has said that, if the Met Police failed to apologise, the family would pursue the case in a civil court.

It is not clear if that would be against PC Harwood as an individual or against the Metropolitan Police.

A jury at the inquest into Mr Tomlinson's death recorded a verdict in May 2011 of unlawful killing.

"They never want to see the inside of a court in their life; however they do have these conflicting verdicts and they do need to be resolved - at the moment they appear to be irreconcilable," Mr Carey told the BBC.

"Ultimately what they would very much like is for the police to accept that there's a breach of article 2 - Ian Tomlinson's death was unlawfully taken - they would like that to be admitted, they'd like a frank apology but if that doesn't come, then they will push the issue of liability in the civil courts."

PC Harwood hit 47-year-old Mr Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground during the G20 protests in central London in April 2009. The newspaper seller later collapsed and died.

'Road rage'

The officer denied manslaughter on the grounds that he used reasonable force.

The jury of five men and seven women had considered their verdict for four days.

During the trial, the police officer had accepted he was "wrong" to have hit and pushed Mr Tomlinson.

He said had he realised at the time Mr Tomlinson was walking away from police lines, he "would not have gone near him".

Father-of-nine Mr Tomlinson, a heavy drinker who had slept rough for a number of years, walked 75 yards before he collapsed.

It has emerged that, in 2000, five years after he joined the Met, PC Harwood was involved in what was described at Mr Tomlinson's inquest as a "road rage" incident but his employment record was kept from the jury.