Tears in court over Ian Tomlinson film


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The Independent Online

CCTV footage of a police officer shoving to the ground a newspaper seller who later died was shown to jurors today.

The 47-year-old's widow Julia and stepson Paul King cried as a film clip was played of a medical student trying to save Mr Tomlinson as he lay on the pavement with his eyes closed.

He collapsed minutes after being hit with a police baton and shoved to the ground by Pc Simon Harwood during the G20 protests in the City of London in April 2009.

Today jurors were shown footage of Harwood, 45, adopting a "strike" position with his baton as Mr Tomlinson stood with his back to him.

The footage showed Harwood among a group including dog handlers and officers in riot gear, pushing Mr Tomlinson to the ground.

He was seen wearing a balaclava covering the lower half of his face as well as a riot helmet.

Mr Tomlinson, wearing tracksuit bottoms with a t-shirt over a long-sleeved top, was facing away from the group when he was pushed.

A passer-by helped Mr Tomlinson, 47, back to his feet, and he was then seen walking away.

Southwark Crown Court heard yesterday that he walked around 70 metres before collapsing, and died in hospital around an hour later.

Harwood, from Carshalton in Surrey, is accused of manslaughter, which he denies on the grounds that he used reasonable force.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC first played a series of short clips, showing the area around Cornhill with protesters shouting and chanting, and the interaction between Harwood and Mr Tomlinson.

Jurors were then played more detailed footage tracing Mr Tomlinson's movements before he was hit.

He approached one police cordon near Bank but was turned back, and continued walking around trying to find a route home to Smithfield.

Various cameras captured the moment near the Royal Exchange Buildings when he was hit to the ground, around 7.25pm.

He managed to walk around 77 yards (70m) before collapsing, and died later in hospital.

Clips detailing Harwood's movements were then played. He was tasked with driving a police carrier and monitoring radios that day.

Footage posted on the internet showed his unsuccessful attempt to arrest a protester who was writing "all cops are bastards" on the side of a carrier.

The man managed to wriggle free, leaving Harwood holding his jacket, the court heard.

In at times heated scenes, protesters were heard shouting and blowing whistles, with one blowing some kind of trumpet in police officers' faces.

Harwood was seen with other officers running into a passageway near the Royal Exchange Buildings. A member of the public is pushed out of the way as the officers advance.

The court then heard from Tony Taglialavore, a member of staff at Monument tube station who saw Mr Tomlinson in Fish Street Hill around 12.30pm on the day he died.

He would spend time there hanging around with two newspaper sellers, the court heard.

Mr Taglialavore said Mr Tomlinson was not as chatty as normal that day and was complaining of pains in his arm.

"He seemed as if he'd had a drink and he was quite quiet for him, usually he was more chatty, and he was very slurred with his words," Mr Taglialavore said.

"He mentioned that he'd either been to a clinic or was going to a clinic. He said he was having pains in his arm and he was rubbing his arm a little bit."

Mr Taglialavore had previously said in a police statement that it was his right arm.

He added: "I liked Ian, he'd never given me a problem on the Underground, and every time I saw him we'd have a conversation."

Mr Dennis read a statement from newspaper seller Stephen Kelly who said the health of alcoholic Mr Tomlinson was deteriorating.

Mr Kelly said: "He seemed to be going downhill. He seemed to be bloated and I remember his eyes would bulge more."

Another vendor Barry Smith, who had known Mr Tomlinson for more than 20 years, said despite personal difficulties he cared about his family.

He said: "He was homeless but he used to go back at weekends to see his wife and kids, he loved his kids."

He first saw Mr Tomlinson in the morning, and then later around 5pm when the father-of-nine returned with a new Millwall T-shirt and other clothing.

Mr Smith said if he had stayed at the pitch for longer, his friend may still be alive.

He said: "If I'd phoned up and got some more papers he might have been alive. I'm gutted I didn't phone up."

He said Mr Tomlinson had suffered an injury to his left shoulder which was giving him pain.

IT worker Warren Fraser who was watching the protests, saw Mr Tomlinson in Lombard Street shortly after 7pm.

He said he seemed "slow and sluggish" and had a beer can in his hand, and would not move out of the way of a police van that had driven up behind him.

Mr Fraser said he had the impression that Mr Tomlinson was "resisting" the police's directions.

Another spectator Colin Smith said Mr Tomlinson's lack of reaction was "strange".

He said: "Everyone else was moving out of the way, he was just oblivious to what was going on."

He said the carrier even nudged the back of Mr Tomlinson's legs but he did not react.

Officers then used a "push or slap" on his neck and moved him towards a wall to get him out of the way, the court heard.

Pc Gareth Edwards, who began his working day as part of the security for a visit by US president Barack Obama, was the driver of the carrier trying to get down Lombard Street.

He said he sounded his horn twice but Mr Tomlinson did not react, and said he got within six inches but did not hit him.

The trial continues tomorrow.