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CPS to review G20 death prosecution ruling

THE Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it would carry out a “thorough review” of its decision not to prosecute a police officer linked to the death of Ian Tomlinson at G20 protests in 2009 after an inquest ruled he was unlawfully killed.

Newspaper seller Tomlinson, 47, collapsed and died on the fringes of the demonstrations in central London after he was struck by a baton and pushed to the ground by Metropolitan police constable Simon Harwood.

The jury said Harwood used “excessive and unreasonable” force in hitting homeless Tomlinson with a baton and that he had posed no threat at the time.

Jurors said Harwood had acted illegally, recklessly and dangerously in shoving him to the ground.

“The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, made it clear last year that the decision not to prosecute anyone in relation to the death of Mr Ian Tomlinson would be reviewed in light of the evidence heard at the inquest,” the CPS said in a statement.

“That review will now take place and will be thorough,” it added.

The original CPS decision not to prosecute the officer was taken because of conflicting medical evidence.

An initial postmortem recorded that Tomlinson had died from a heart attack, but two further autopsies showed the cause of death to be internal bleeding.

Harwood was however due to face gross misconduct charges at a police disciplinary hearing.

Acting assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Rose Fitzpatrick said Harwood “will be subject to misconduct proceedings” as the CPS reconsiders.

“It has been demonstrated in this case that all officers are accountable for their actions and we would not want it to be any other way,” she said in a statement.

“If someone dies following police contact, it is only right that their death is thoroughly investigated,” she added.

The CPS said its review will be conducted as quickly as possible and take into account all evidence available, including any new evidence that emerged at the inquest, the issues raised by the coroner to the jury and the conclusions they reached.


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