In the Media

PC Simon Harwood accepts 'discrediting force' over Ian Tomlinson death

PUBLISHED September 17, 2012

PC Simon Harwood, the police officer cleared of killing newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson during the G20 riots, has admitted his actions constituted gross misconduct and has twice offered to resign from the force, a hearing was told today.

But on the opening day of a public misconduct hearing, lawyers for the officer refused to accept that his actions had inadvertently caused or contributed to the 47-year-old's death.

PC Harwood, who struck Mr Tomlinson with his baton before pushing him to the ground during the riots in 2009, was cleared of manslaughter in July.

He has admitted striking Mr Tomlinson and admits that such action brought the force into disrepute.

But he has refused to accept allegations put to him as part of the misconduct hearing that "such dangerous actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the death of Mr Tonlinson".

Patrick Gibbs QC, representing PC Harwood told the hearing that it was unnecessary to put the allegations again as they had been dealt with at the trial.

He said it was an attempt to "manufacture a show trial" by re-hearing the evidence already considered.

Harwood, 45, hit Mr Tomlinson with his baton and shoved him to the ground during the G20 protests near the Royal Exchange Buildings in the City of London in April 2009.

Mr Tomlinson, who was an alcoholic and had slept rough for a number of years, managed to walk 75 yards before he collapsed and later died from internal bleeding.

Harwood, from Carshalton in Surrey, has already been acquitted of Mr Tomlinson's manslaughter, although an inquest found the father-of-nine was unlawfully killed.

He is now facing police disciplinary proceedings, which are being held by the Met in public for the first time.

Patrick Gibbs QC, for Harwood, told the hearing: ''Pc Harwood does indeed accept that the discredit which his actions, and the way in which they have been reported, has brought upon the Metropolitan Police Service amounts to gross misconduct. He has twice offered his resignation to the Commissioner.''

He said that, with the benefit of hindsight, Harwood would have used ''no force at all'' if he had known about the state of Mr Tomlinson's health.

Mr Gibbs said: ''If he had known then what he now knows about the circumstances, everybody's movements and Mr Tomlinson's health, he would have used no force, let alone the force that he did use.''