Officer admits he was wrong to hit Tomlinson

 

A police officer accused of killing an unemployed alcoholic today told a court that he was wrong to have struck a man with a baton and shoved him to the ground during protests in London.

PC Simon Harwood, 45, said that he accepted he had gone over the top in striking Ian Tomlinson but had mistakenly believed that the 47-year-old was walking towards police lines when he hit him. He said in hindsight he “wouldn’t have gone anywhere near” Mr Tomlinson.

During a day of highly-charged evidence, PC Harwood’s voice broke and his wife, Helen, sobbed while he gave evidence at his trial for manslaughter.

Video footage taken of the G20 protests showed PC Harwood sent Mr Tomlinson sprawling during a confrontation on April 1, 2009. Mr Tomlinson is seen remonstrating with police officers before being helped to his feet.

He collapsed on the street about 75 yards away and was dead within an hour of the incident with severe internal injuries, the court has heard.

PC Harwood, during his second day in the witness box today, was asked if he accepted what he did on that day was wrong. He said: “From what I have seen, yes, but not at the time that I engaged with Mr Tomlinson.”

He went on: “Now I have seen all the evidence and am aware of how poorly Mr Tomlinson was, I am sorry that I got it wrong. I shouldn’t have hit him with a baton and pushed him.”

Mr Tomlinson’s family walked out of the court after Pc Harwood listed firearms as one of the available options to him to move the 47-year-old. During cross-examination by Mark Dennis QC, for the prosecution, PC Harwood was asked what he could have done with Mr Tomlinson, who had been drinking all day, and was ambling away from the police lines with his hands in his pockets.

Pc Harwood listed the use of CS spray, his voice, handcuffs, kicks and punches before mentioning firearms, prompting the walkout.

Mr Dennis added: “Might I suggest your conduct on this day seemed to be an exercise of this approach: strike first, ask questions afterwards. Is that unfair?”

Pc Harwood replied: “Yes, I believe it is.”

The case continues

Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star