G20 pathologist to face probe

The pathologist who claimed Ian Tomlinson died of a heart attack is being investigated by the medical watchdog after an inquest jury disputed his findings.

An inquiry has been launched by the General Medical Council into how Dr Freddy Patel's post-mortem examination differed with two other experts who said he died of internal bleeding.



Dr Patel was accused at Mr Tomlinson's inquest of making blunders which made it all but impossible to conclude with any certainty how he died on the fringes of the G20 protests in London on April 1 2009.











Dr Patel's claim that Mr Tomlinson died of a heart attack was dismissed by a string of experts who said he died of internal bleeding.



There was no formal announcement from the GMC but a source confirmed investigations into Dr Patel's conduct were under way.



An inquest jury concluded Mr Tomlinson died of the bleed as a result of Pc Simon Harwood's "excessive and unreasonable" force in shoving him to the ground.



Dr Patel's notes are alleged to be ambiguous and he did not order tests on three litres of fluid found in Mr Tomlinson's abdomen to confirm whether it was pure blood or - as he maintained - largely made up of a substance called ascites produced by liver disease.



This question was crucial because fellow pathologists Dr Nat Cary and Dr Kenneth Shorrock disputed Dr Patel's findings that the cause of death was coronary artery disease, consistent with natural causes.



An inquest jury which delivered an unlawful killing verdict earlier this week agreed with the other experts' conclusions.



News of the investigation comes after Britain's most senior police officer denied he was jumping to judgment and using Pc Harwood as a "fall guy".



Sir Paul Stephenson was accused of being prepared to "surrender" the officer by the Ulster Unionist peer Lord Maginnis, who added he was "horrified" by the police stance.



The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC is to examine whether there is enough evidence to charge the Scotland Yard officer with manslaughter.



Sir Paul said: "It has to be a matter of very real regret for any commissioner to be in a situation where there has been a finding that somebody has died as a result of one of his officers.



"That's a simple statement. It's fact. That's not jumping to a judgment."



But it was right to recognise the "observations and conclusions" of the jury, the commissioner said.



Lord Maginnis said: "It's worried me that you, as a leader of the police, were prepared to sacrifice a constable who I believe should have the full support of the police service," he told Sir Paul.



Jurors delivered a damning assessment of the Scotland Yard officer's actions, saying he "deliberately and intentionally" shoved the newspaper seller to the ground.



Pc Harwood, a father-of-two, will now become the first officer to face a public Metropolitan Police disciplinary inquiry.



In a written statement the jurors told the inquest: "Both the baton strike and the push were excessive and unreasonable.



"As a result, Mr Tomlinson suffered internal bleeding which led to his collapse within a few minutes and his subsequent death.



"At the time of the strike and the push, Mr Tomlinson was walking away from the police line. He was complying with police instructions to leave Royal Exchange Buildings, the passage. He posed no threat."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project