UK & World News
G20 Death: Officer 'Guilty' Of Gross Misconduct
The police officer cleared of killing a newspaper seller during the G20 protests has been found guilty of gross misconduct by a disciplinary panel.
PC Simon Harwood hit Ian Tomlinson with his baton and shoved him to the ground in the City of London in April 2009. The 47-year-old managed to walk about 75 metres before he collapsed and later died from internal bleeding.
Harwood was acquitted of manslaughter in July but the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said he should face a public Metropolitan Police disciplinary hearing.
The hearing heard that Harwood had acknowledged his actions amounted to gross misconduct and had twice offered his resignation, which Scotland Yard refused to accept.
His legal representative said that with the benefit of hindsight he would not have used force against the father-of-nine, however he did not accept that his actions inadvertently caused or contributed to Mr Tomlinson's death.
Patrick Gibbs QC said: "PC Harwood does indeed accept that the discredit which his actions, and the way in which they have been reported, has brought upon the Metropolitan Police Service amounts to gross misconduct.
"If he had known then what he now knows about the circumstances, everybody's movements and Mr Tomlinson's health, he would have used no force, let alone the force that he did use."
At the earlier court case, the police officer said he had only used reasonable force during the protest.
The disciplinary panel, which included two police officers and a lay member, decided there was no need for for a substantive hearing following the admission and found he had breached standards over discreditable conduct, use of force and authority, respect and courtesy.
They also decided not to consider the allegation that Harwood's actions caused or contributed to the death.
Mr Tomlinson's widow, Julia, and his two stepsons walked out of the hearing room saying "Whitewash".
Harwood, 45, from Carshalton, Surrey, had a controversial disciplinary record before the accusations surrounding Mr Tomlinson.
A series of allegations were made against him over a 12-year period and he was allowed to retire from the Met on medical grounds in 2001 despite unresolved disciplinary proceedings.
He was accused of unlawful arrest, abuse of authority and discreditable conduct over an incident when he allegedly shouted at another driver and knocked him over his car door, before announcing he was a police officer and arresting the motorist on a common assault charge.
But the proceedings were discontinued when he retired. Harwood later rejoined the force as a civilian worker before becoming a police officer for Surrey.
He was then allowed to rejoin the Met in 2004 as part of its territorial support group (TSG), specialising in public order.