I am not a lawyer and this is just a rant.
The Metropolitan Police officer who struck Ian Tomlinson shortly before his death is to escape prosecution.
Mr Tomlinson was struck with a baton from behind and pushed to the ground during the G20 protests last year and died minutes later. Police claims that he had been caught in crowds and suffered a heart attack were shown up for the nonsense they were when a video clip of the incident was posted on the net. The poster, an American visitor, had wisely (in my opinion) waited until he was safely back in New York before doing so. The clip clearly shows that Tomlinson was not threatening the police in any way, turned his back and walked away when the police refused to allow him through the lines. (He was not even a protestor, he was merely trying to go home after finishing work.) He was then attacked from behind.
Despite the video evidence, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, claims that there is no reasonable prospect of securing a conviction. This is due to the disagreement between medical experts about the cause of Mr Tomlinson’s death.
The first post-mortem conducted by Dr Freddy Patel concluded that he had died of coronary artery disease and this was consistent with natural causes. Two subsequent post-mortems concluded that he had in fact died from internal bleeding as a result of being struck with a blunt instrument.
Starmer claims that this disagreement between the medical experts means that a successful prosecution would be unlikely:-
As a result the CPS would simply not be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was a causal link between Mr Tomlinson’s death and the alleged assault upon him. That being the case, there is no realistic prospect of a conviction for unlawful act manslaughter.
This is utter bollocks. Patel is the pathologist who found that Sally White, one of the victims of the ‘Camden Ripper’ died of natural causes due to heart disease (seems to be his favourite verdict). It would not be difficult to show that his evidence is not credible. You would not even need to be a QC. I reckon a High Street solicitor could manage it.
To add further insult, the Crown Prosecution Service said that a lesser charge of common assault could have been brought but that due to the expiry of a six month time limit this was no longer possible.
So, thanks to a seemingly incompetent pathologist and the Met’s own time wasting tactics, the case has been dragged out long enough for Mr Tomlinson,s assailant to escape prosecutio. Would this have been the case if a protestor had assaulted a cop? I don’t think so.
So why has the Director of the CPS – the Government’s Chief Prosecutor – taken this line?
Just a guess but could it have anything to do with the tough times that lie ahead due to the Government’s draconian spending cuts? These are far worse than anything that happened during the Thatcher years and they led to massive public protests. The Government needs to keep the police on side to suppress any protests and incidently perhaps discourage protest with the implication that if you take to the streets you can be killed with impunity.