Thursday, 19 July 2012

Tomlinson Verdict A Travesty

Occasionally there comes along a court case where someone you fully expect to be spending the next few years at her Majesty's pleasure walk free but today's decision to find Simon Harwood not guilty of killing newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests is staggering.
Video evidence shows the policeman hitting and shoving Tomlinson in an unprovoked attack and him falling to the ground. He then dropped dead 75 yards up the road just minutes later.
After a botched first post-mortem, a second said there was 'only one real possibility for the cause of death – that Tomlinson had died of internal bleeding after his elbow was pushed into his abdomen after being shoved to the ground by PC Simon Harwood'.
A third post-mortem agreed with the findings as did several other experts who gave evidence in support of the theory that the blame for Mr Tomlinsons death lay squarely on the policeman.
Surely even a policeman, and the police have a terrible record of being prosecuted when they overstep the line, couldn't escape justice with all that evidence and expert opinion against him?
Yes he can and he did when a jury today cleared him of manslaughter which makes it even more galling, that it was a jury comprised of members of the public that cleared him and it is anyones guess how they feel now that after the decision, Harwoods previous history that was deemed inadmissible as part of the trial.
A history that included previous violent behaviour and 10 complaints against him in 12 years. He even managed to escape a previous charge of violent behaviour by resigning as a police officer and then rejoining two days later as a civilian employee before returning to his uniformed role two years later.
Now the Metropolitan Police say that they are going to return to the original violent conduct charge that he escaped previously.
The Tomlinson lawyer Matthew Ryder asked 'How on earth did an officer with this record end up being in a position where he was using violence against Ian Tomlinson?' and that is a case for the police to answer.
What i can't understand is how the jury could have possibly reached the verdict they did when all the evidence was pointing towards the opposite decision.
My question to them would be if Harwood isn't guilty of killing Mr Tomlinson, who is because to my eyes one man attacked another one in an unprovoked attack which led directly to his death and if that isn't manslaughter then one of us obviously doesn't understand the meaning of the word.
A travesty of a decision and the Tomlinson families verdict of 'a joke' doesn't even begin to describe it and ranks alongside the Jean Charles De Menezes decision as another shameful day for our justice system.


Cheezy said...

It hasn't been a good couple of weeks for the British justice system, following on from the John Terry verdict. Both offences were caught on camera, which I find very interesting... It indicates that people are more inclined to decide things based on their pre-existing worldview, rather than what their 'lying eyes' tell them.

Still, the internet taught me that little nugget a long time ago...

The sobering fact is that Harwood wouldn't have even gone on trial had the incident not been filmed. So how often do similar (though unfilmed) events occur? - with excessive force causing injuries, if not death? Quite a lot, I would say.

Lucy said...

As someone once said i thought it was a slam dunk, the video and the pathologists reports should have made it so but i can't begin to think what the jury could have heard or seen that we never that made them consider him innocent.