New evidence of police attacks on G20 victim

Eyewitness claims riot police assaulted newspaper seller three times before he died near protest

The Metropolitan Police faced fresh allegations of brutality last night after it emerged that a man who died at the G20 protests may have been attacked by riot police three times.

Ian Tomlinson was walking home from work when he was hit and pushed over by an officer in an apparently unprovoked attack. Minutes later the 47-year-old lay dying on a London street.

Last night, as it was revealed that the police officer concerned had come forward one week after the events, shocking new claims emerged that the violence meted out to Mr Tomlinson was even more severe than first thought.

A video had already emerged showing the newspaper seller being shoved forcefully to the ground by police as he walked with his hands in his pockets. But a photographer told The Independent that the incident was merely the third of a series of police attacks on Mr Tomlinson, before he died of a heart attack. Anna Branthwaite said that he had appeared desperate to get away during an earlier "unprovoked" attack in which police lashed at him with a baton. Last night, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced it was taking over responsibility for a criminal investigation and was still trying to trace other officers involved. Mr Tomlinson's family said they were "shocked and sickened" by the video and would not rest until they had answers.

Ms Branthwaite told this newspaper how she witnessed two initial attacks further up the street as Scotland Yard's riot police swarmed the area.

"The dog handlers [believed to be City of London Police] were just starting to sweep the street and form a police line when Ian Tomlinson arrived. I saw a riot police officer charge him from behind and propel himself forward with his body weight," she said.

"Mr Tomlinson was on the ground and I saw him [the policeman] stand over him with a baton, hitting him twice. He was completely taken by surprise. He didn't know what hit him."

She added that he tried to get to his feet. "His natural instinct was to get up to run. The same riot police officer then grabbed him and ran with him for two strides and threw him forward." She then lost sight of Mr Tomlinson as she was hauled away by police. She was adamant that the filmed attack occurred seconds after the ones she witnessed. "He was not engaging with them [the police]. He was not taunting them. He was not shouting. It was completely unprovoked." Ms Branthwaite has made a statement to the IPCC, which will now pursue the investigation independently.

The shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling described the revelations as "alarming" and said they left, "big questions to be answered by the police".

The gravity of the situation facing Scotland Yard was reflected in a statement yesterday by its Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson: "My thoughts are with Mr Tomlinson's family at this time. The images that have now been released raise obvious concerns and it is absolutely right and proper that there is a full investigation into this matter, which the Met will fully support."

Last night the IPCC revealed that a number of the officers caught up in the incident had yet to come forward. It is believed that the footage shows City of London Police dog handlers alongside members of the Metropolitan Police Tactical Support Group.

The IPCC also revealed that it had ordered a second post-mortem examination in an effort to determine if there was any external factor behind Mr Tomlinson's fatal heart attack.

Last night the family issued a statement that thanked the media for, "bringing crucial evidence to light".

Initially the Metropolitan Police spoke of how officers had on 1 April tried in vain to save Mr Tomlinson's life, claiming they had even been pelted with missiles, after he collapsed outside the Royal Exchange Building in the City. Investigators were told that there had been no contact with police before he collapsed.

But the story took on a very different turn when a New York fund manager passed film to The Guardian newspaper, which showed Mr Tomlinson being attacked from behind by an officer in riot gear as he walked away from them with his hands in his pockets.

Deborah Glass, of the IPCC, said the decision to take over the investigation from City of London Police was made after the video came to light. She said: "People are rightly concerned about this tragic death and this footage is clearly disturbing.

"This is a criminal investigation and we will, of course, be discussing it with the Crown Prosecution Service. At the moment the investigation is focused on identifying the officers in the footage. Several have already come forward and all efforts are being made to trace those who haven't."

The attack highlights concerns about police tactics during the demonstrations, during which 5,000 people gathered in the City to protest as the G20 political leaders prepared to meet.

Mr Tomlinson's son, Paul King, 26, said yesterday that the family were distraught. "It is very important for the sake of the family here and his kids, we just want justice.

"Until everything comes out and we have the right evidence, we cannot lay our father to rest."

On the night he died, the 47-year-old, known as Tommo to his friends, was on his way to the Lindsey Hotel, where he had lodged since October. Friends of Mr Tomlinson, a father of nine originally from Matlock, Derbyshire, described him as a man who had lived an itinerant lifestyle. The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, called for the IPCC inquiry to be completed "as quickly as possible". The Labour MP David Winnick, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said questions will be asked about "misleading" police statements in the hours after Mr Tomlinson's death.

Police response to Ian Tomlinson's death

*1 April – Statement from the Metropolitan Police

A member of the public went to a police officer on a cordon to say that there was a man who had collapsed round the corner.

The officer sent two police medics through the cordon line where they found a man who had stopped breathing. They called for LAS [London Ambulance Service] support about 19.30. The officers gave him an initial check and cleared his airway before moving him back behind the cordon line to a clear area where they gave him CPR.

The officers took the decision to move him as during this time a number of missiles – believed to be bottles – were being thrown at them. LAS took the man to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

*4 April – Statement from the City of London Police

A post-mortem examination ... found he died of natural causes. [He] suffered a sudden heart attack while on his way home from work. The family thanked all the people who rushed to Ian's aid when he collapsed and said how grateful they are for all the efforts made to help.

*8 April – Statement Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police

My thoughts are with Mr Tomlinson's family at this time. The images that have now been released raise obvious concerns and it is absolutely right and proper that there is a full investigation into this matter, which the Met will fully support.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
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