Getting Away With It

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.

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8 Responses to “Getting Away With It”

  1. DavidN Says:

    I am absolutely disgusted by this. I have lost all respect for our police. In fact, a colleague who wants to join the force is now viewed with thinly-veiled suspicion.

  2. brainduck Says:

    I don’t swear often, but I have run out of alternative vocabulary.

  3. Peter Reynolds Says:

    This is a monstrous decision. How can anyone, ever again have any faith in our system of justice? There can be no question but that Keir Starmer must go. He has failed miserably to see beyond the minutiae and detail to the bigger and more important picture. He has failed all of us, each and every individual citizen of this country. Whatever it takes, be it a special Act of Parliament, he must be removed from office and PC Simon Harwood must be brought to justice.

    I’ve edited this slightly. Removed some adjectives relating to Harwood – not that I disagree with them – just since he has not been tried they have not been proven in a court of law – JQH

  4. Teek Says:

    Absolutely shocking. As I wrote earlier (I should have used your disclaimer about not being a lawyer and ranting :-)), not bringing charges denies Tomlinson’s family, and the whole country a shot at learning the truth and extracting justice.

    Shocking – good post though!

  5. Patmos Pete Says:

    Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

  6. Nick Says:

    Do you not understand the numerous investigations that went on? The public enquiry, the judicial review and the jury trial that found the officer not guilty?

    As for the cuts – I’m sick of hearing such nonsense from uninformed idiots. The “awful Thatcher years” such twits blither on about were the best years you have ever had. I expect most of you are too young to remember unburied bodies, rubbish in the streets and endless power cuts, a three day week and so on under Labour.

    The ‘cuts’ the coalition are making are not cuts at all. They are reductions in the rate of increase of spending. I know labour force ‘cuts’ into every single sentence but the reality is this country owes £8 trillion quid. We cannot afford the interest payments (£120m a day) let alone continue to waste money on such utter nonsense as the corpse that is the current state.

    I know you don’t like to hear such truth and that facts about basic economics (that high taxes cause unemployment) and that you are probably full of facile slogans that mean nothing (such as ‘tax the rich, who already pay most of the tax as a proportion) and probably believe we live in a police state – we don’t. North Korea does.

    If you want to see how awful things could really be, imagine if Mr Tomlinson, tragic as his death was; being shot with live ammunition, without recourse or inquiry and blogs such as this disappearing along with their authors in black bags overnight, never to be seen again. Oddly, it is Labour who wanted to introduce unlimited detention without charge, Labour who tried to suppress freedom of speech and protest and labour who made every effort – including deploying the police – to destroy a peaceful protest camp.

    In short, socialists hate dissent and use the state to control the people. The coalition has done neither.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      The coroner’s jury returned a verdict of Unlawful Killing. Did you miss that? There has been no other jury considering the evidence to my knowledge – certainly no jury has found him guilty because he’s not been tried. Yet.

      I can safely say the Thatcher years were not the best I’ve ever had. Far from it.

      WRT your penultimate paragraph, what are you saying exactly? Because China and North Korea suppress dissent totally, it is wrong for me to dissent in this country? Don’t follow your logic.

      The Labour Party can hardly be described as socialist.

      Are you a member of the TSG by any chance?

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