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G20 inquest to consider unlawful killing charge

Jurors at the inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson will consider whether the actions of a Scotland Yard officer amounted to unlawful killing, a coroner told them today.

They must decide whether Pc Simon Harwood acted illegally in hitting Mr Tomlinson with a baton and pushing him to the ground at the G20 protests.

The jurors will then consider whether Pc Harwood's actions directly caused the death.

During his summing up, Judge Peter Thornton QC, sitting as assistant deputy coroner at the central London hearing, said Dr Freddy Patel's "credibility" as a witness must also be considered.

Dr Patel, the pathologist who initially ruled Mr Tomlinson died of natural causes, changed some of his evidence when challenged during the inquest.

The jury, sitting at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in Fleet Street, London, has already been told the Crown Prosecution Service could review its decision not to pursue charges against officers in light of their findings.

Verdicts of misadventure, death from natural causes and an open verdict will also be available to the jury when they retire to deliberate next week.

Mr Tomlinson, a newspaper seller, collapsed and died on the fringes of the anti-summit demonstrations in central London on April 1, 2009.

During the month-long hearing members of Mr Tomlinson's family have been left in tears by harrowing video of the newspaper seller dying after being shoved in Cornhill.

CCTV images, police helicopter footage and handheld video recordings show Mr Tomlinson cutting a lonely figure as he staggers away from a police cordon after being hit with a baton by Pc Harwood.

Footage shows Mr Tomlinson gesture to police and appear angry after being sent tumbling to the ground.

He eventually collapsed flat out and muttered "they got me, the f****** got me" before he died, the inquest has heard.