Tomlinson inquest pledges ‘fair, fearless’ hearing


originally by: The Guardian
published: 21st Dec 2010

The inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests last year will require “thoroughness, fairness and fearlessness”, the judge appointed to oversee proceedings said today. Judge Peter Thornton QC, sitting as assistant deputy coroner, told a pre-inquest hearing that proceedings could begin as early as the end of March, although dates in April and May were also suggested.

The inquest is likely to reignite the controversy surrounding the Metropolitan police’s handling of demonstrations, following a chaotic six weeks in which student protesters have clashed with officers, causing serious injuries on both sides. There has been growing concern that the repeated confrontations and use of “kettling” to contain protesters could result in another fatality.

Tomlinson, 47, died moments after being struck with a baton and pushed to the ground by PC Simon Harwood, a member of the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG), on 1 April last year.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to prosecute the officer, in part due to complications surrounding evidence given by a pathologist, Dr Freddy Patel.

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