Pc Simon Harwood cleared over Ian Tomlinson manslaughter


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The Independent Online

A riot policeman who beat a homeless man with a baton and shoved him to the ground was today cleared of manslaughter. 

Pc Simon Harwood was acquitted of killing Ian Tomlinson at G20 protests three years ago despite acknowledging at the trial that he was wrong to hit the unemployed alcoholic who was trying to get home through the crowds.

It can be reported for the first time today that PC Harwood, 45, faced a string of complaints while serving with two forces. Only one was upheld.

He quit the Metropolitan Police in 2001 on medical grounds just weeks after papers were lodged for a disciplinary hearing over a road rage case in which he was accused of attacking a driver while off-duty.

The case was never heard.

But Mr Harwood resumed his career as a civilian worker with the force the following week, before later joining Surrey police as a constable, the inquest into Mr Tomlinson’s death was told.

He then transferred back to the Met in 2004 where he worked for the Territorial Support Group, the team at the front line of riot policing.

Mr Harwood – who was been suspended on full pay for the last three years – now faces a public disciplinary hearing over the death of Mr Tomlinson. But the case has sparked demands for a review of the way police handles serious complaints against officers.

PC Simon Harwood – who admitted to “red mist mode” in the only disciplinary charge upheld against him - faced ten complaints in 12 years while a serving officer in both the Metropolitan Police and Surrey forces.

In 2008, Pc Harwood received his written warning for using the police national computer to investigate the background of a driver involved in an accident with his wife.