Jurors to decide on G20 'unlawful killing'

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The Independent Online

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 yesterday.

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 on 1 April 2009.

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 hearing in London, said Dr Freddy Patel's "credibility" as a witness must also be considered. Dr Patel, the pathologist who initially ruled that Mr Tomlinson died of natural causes, changed some of his evidence when challenged during the inquest. The jury heard earlier that two pathologists disagreed with Dr Patel's finding and believed that Mr Tomlinson died from internal bleeding.

The jury 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, 47, a newspaper-seller who was not part of the protests, collapsed and died on the fringes of the demonstrations.

The month-long inquest was shown video footage of his death.