In the Media

Ian Tomlinson: police officer outwitted by protester before striking vendor, court hears

PUBLISHED June 20, 2012

Constable Simon Harwood, 45, tried to arrest a man dressed in black who he saw writing ''all cops are bastards'' on the side of a police vehicle during the G20 protests in the City of London in April 2009.

But the demonstrator managed to wriggle free, leaving Harwood holding his jacket.

Today Constable Andrew Hayes, who was driving a police carrier that day, told Southwark Crown Court Harwood was ''almost in a tug of war'' with the man.

He said protesters turned hostile as soon as Harwood tried to make the arrest in Cornhill.

''There was jeering going on and I felt at that point the crowd was chasing PC Harwood down the street.

''Since he had taken hold of the person in black it had become more hostile and was directed towards PC Harwood.

''The gentleman that he had hold of wiggled out of his jacket, and left PC Harwood holding the jacket.''

Jurors were played film footage of the man being marched past PC Hayes' carrier, and colliding with the driver's door to jeers from the crowd.

PC Hayes said: ''I've gone to get out, opened the driver's door and something collided with the driver's door.

''I could see it was PC Harwood and the person in the black.''

Around 15 minutes later Harwood, from Carshalton in Surrey, encountered Mr Tomlinson near the Royal Exchange Buildings, hit him with his baton and pushed him to the ground

Mr Tomlinson, 47, walked 70 metres before collapsing, and died in hospital under an hour later.

Harwood denies manslaughter and maintains that he used reasonable force in the circumstances.