G20 "death" footage released
Uploaded by itnnews on Mar 29, 2011
Dramatic new video footage of the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests
Members of his family wept when the footage was played, revealing previously unseen images of the 47-year-old newspaper seller lying on the ground, being tended to by a female medical student.
The jury of 11, attending the International Dispute Resolution Centre in Fleet Street, London, was shown footage of Tomlinson and PC Simon Harwood, the officer filmed striking him moments before his collapse on 1 April 2009.
Judge Peter Thornton QC, sitting as assistant deputy coroner, told the jury that Harwood, of the Met police’s territorial support group, was not on trial.
“This is an inquest, not a public inquiry. But every inquest is an inquiry into the death. That involves looking at the circumstances in which the death arose, but not all of the much broader issues which a public inquiry might consider.”
Thornton said that Harwood’s shoving of Tomlinson at 7.20pm on Royal Exchange Buildings was unlikely to be contested. The jury saw footage of Harwood striking Tomlinson with a baton and pushing him hard in the back. Tomlinson was propelled and fell to the ground. “PC Harwood accepted later that he did those things, and he gave his reasons for doing them,” Thornton said.
Tomlinson then walked about 100 metres along Cornhill before collapsing. He was pronounced dead at 8.10pm.
Thornton said there was likely to be “controversy” over the medical evidence. Freddy Patel, the pathologist who did the first postmortem examination, concluded that Tomlinson died of coronary heart disease. Two other pathologists, Nat Cary and Kenneth Shorrock, said he died of internal bleeding.
“It is likely to be a controversial area in the inquest,” Thornton said. “There is likely to be controversy about the finding by Dr Patel in the first postmortem about the presence of fluid in the abdomen and the extent it contained blood.”
The jury was shown footage compiled by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, including video from CCTV cameras, bystanders and police helicopters. It included images obtained from trawling websites such as YouTube and was shown in two batches.
The first batch showed Tomlinson at Monument tube station just before 7pm. He was repeatedly turned away from police cordons blocking his route home, before he appeared, at about 7.20pm, on Royal Exchange Buildings.
He collapsed on the pavement at Cornhill about three minutes later. Lucy Apps, a medical student, went to his aid. Video showed riot officers arriving on the scene and moving her away. There was no evidence that protesters impeded police medics from treating Tomlinson, who was carried away by police minutes later.
The second film batch followed Harwood. Fifteen minutes before he struck Tomlinson he tried to arrest a protester, dragging him into the crowd by his jacket. Harwood could have had confrontations with at least two other people in the minutes before his encounter with Tomlinson.
Among the witnesses giving evidence at the hearing was Barry Smith, an Evening Standard seller, who had worked with Tomlinson for more than 20 years. He said Tomlinson had left the stall earlier than usual that day because they had run out of newspapers.
Tomlinson’s widow, Julia Tomlinson, and his stepson, Paul King, also gave evidence at the inquest.
Both described a loving father generous with his time and money, who was “idolised” by his four daughters and five stepchildren. Both also spoke of Tomlinson’s problem with alcoholism.
Julia said: “He would always walk with his hands in his pockets and his head down, even from the living room to the kitchen. This was partly because he had a limited use of one of his hands from an old injury. But I think this was also because he didn’t like to impose himself – he didn’t want no bother.”