In the Media

Ian Tomlinson family demands Met accepts full liability for his death

PUBLISHED July 20, 2012

As Mr Tomlinson's family struggled to come to terms with the acquittal of Pc Simon Harwood, who struck the newspaper seller with his baton minutes before his died, their lawyer said they would take activate civil proceedings unless the force admitted responsibility and issued a "frank apology".

Jules Carey said they could not understand why Pc Harwood had been allowed to remain in the force despite ten allegations of misconduct on his disciplinary record.

They were also left bitterly disappointed that the verdict did not echo that of an inquest jury last year, which ruled that Mr Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said it would be writing to the family privately but Mr Carey appeared to suggest that that would not be enough.

"Ian Tomlinson's family would agree to meet with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to discuss the employment of this officer and the force's liability for his conduct on 1 April 2009," he said.

"Only an admission or civil court finding of liability will resolve the apparent contradiction between the two verdicts".

Pc Harwood, 45, from Carshalton, Surrey, will be the first Met officer to face a gross misconduct hearing in public in September. He has been suspended on full pay for three years.

His wife Helen accused the Met of failing to support her husband. She insisted he was innocent and vowed to keep fighting to clear his name.

She said: "Those words 'not guilty' stuck in the Met's throat. The Met kept using the word 'decision' and never the words 'not guilty verdict'. But he is innocent. I know that and those 12 members of the jury know that."

Asked whether Pc Harwood would fight to remain in the Territorial Support Group, she said: "They [the Met] have made it clear where they stand. But we will carry on fighting. I'm just happy to have him home. He just wants to be left alone for a while to spend time with his children."