'Aggression' from Pc at G20 protests led to Ian Tomlinson death, court hearsReported by Metro.co.uk on Monday, 18 June 2012 (on June 18, 2012)
*The Metropolitan Police officer accused of killing Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests three years ago struck the newspaper vendor in a 'gratuitous act of aggression' because his 'blood was up', a court has heard.*
Pc Simon Harwood arrives at Southwark Crown Court (Picture: Reuters)
Simon Harwood is on trial at Southwark Crown Court over the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson, which he denies.
He is accused of striking the 47-year-old with a baton and pushing him to the ground as he walked away from a line of officers in the City of London in April 2009.
Mr Tomlinson, who jurors were told was 'taken completely by surprise', collapsed and later died.
'The assault upon Ian Tomlinson had been an unnecessary and unreasonable use of force by the defendant. Ian Tomlinson was not posing any threat to the defendant or any other police officer,' Mark Dennis QC, for the prosecution, said.
Mr Dennis explained that Pc Harwood, who is in his 40s and from Carshalton, Surrey, felt a 'rush of blood to the head' after earlier seeing a protester spraying graffiti escape from him.
Julia Tomlinson, wife of Ian Tomlinson, arrives at court with her son Paul King (Picture: Reuters)
'The display of force has all the hallmarks of a gratuitous act of aggression by a lone officer whose blood was up having lost the self-control to be expected of a police officer in such circumstances, and who was going to stand no truck from anyone who appeared to be a protester and to be getting in his way,' he said.
Pathologist Dr Freddy Patel initially gave the cause of death as a heart attack, but after a US tourist produced video footage showing Mr Tomlinson being struck, a second post-mortem said an injury to his liver caused internal bleeding then cardiac arrest.
Pc Harwood has said his actions were 'necessary, proportionate and reasonable'.
'The defendant will no doubt contend that it was a lawful act in the course of his duty. The prosecution say not so,' Mr Dennis continued.
'It was a rush of blood to the head, it was unnecessary aggression, more akin to thuggish behaviour than proper, reasonable policing.'
The trial, expected to last four or five weeks, was adjourned until tomorrow.
Links: Full news story
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