Tuesday, May 24, 2011


"He added: "We have considered the new evidence adduced at the inquest and the final positions adopted by the medical experts very carefully indeed.

"Having done so, we are satisfied that the position in relation to the medical evidence about the cause of death has clearly changed. The difficulties that would now confront any prosecution have changed in nature and scale from last year when a decision was taken not to prosecute, although it is clear that real difficulties remain.""



A thorough account of "The death of Ian Tomlinson" can be found on Wikipedia at:



PUBLISHER'S NOTE: If Dr. Freddy Patel had the last word, a 47-year-old newspaper vendor named Ian Tomlinson's death after he collapsed on the pavement on the fringes of protests at the G20 on April 1, 2009 would have been written off as "natural causes." However amateur video footage emerged showing him being pushed to the ground by a police officer who faces misconduct proceedings after an inquest beginning in March 2011 is completed. As noted on Wikipedia: "Ian Tomlinson (7 February 1962 – 1 April 2009) was an English newspaper vendor who collapsed and died in the City of London on his way home from work during the 2009 G-20 summit protests. A first postmortem examination indicated that he had suffered a heart attack brought on by coronary artery disease, and had died of natural causes. His death became controversial a week later when The Guardian obtained footage of his last moments, filmed by an American investment fund manager who was visiting London. The video showed Tomlinson being struck on the leg from behind by a police officer wielding an extendable baton, then pushed to the ground by the same officer. It appeared to show no provocation on Tomlinson's part—he was not a protester, and at the time he was struck, the footage showed him walking along with his hands in his pockets. He walked away after the incident, but collapsed and died moments later. After The Guardian published the video, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) began a criminal inquiry. A second postmortem indicated that Tomlinson had died from internal bleeding caused by a blunt force trauma to the abdomen, in association with cirrhosis of the liver. A third postmortem was arranged by the defence team of the accused officer, PC Simon Harwood; the third pathologist agreed that the cause of death was internal bleeding. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced in July 2010 that no charges would be brought, because medical disagreement about the cause of the death meant prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a causal link between the death and the alleged assault. The first pathologist, Dr Freddy Patel, was suspended for three months in August 2010 for "deficient professional performance" in several unrelated cases." As the Guardian reported on March 19, 2011, Patel, who had been previously suspended for incompetence in a series of high profile autopsies, was found guilty of professional misconduct after failing to spot that a murder victim had been suffocated. He now faces being struck off the medical register.
A disciplinary panel of the General Medical Council ruled that his "fitness to practise was impaired" because of his reluctance to consider asphyxiation in the murder case, the falsification of his professional CV, and his failure to redress previous professional shortcomings. The UK Press Association says that the inquest, "is likely to examine the actions of police, the pathologist, the coroner and independent investigators in the aftermath of Mr Tomlinson's death." The Goudge Inquiry into many of former Dr. Charles Smith's cases also examined relationships between pathologists and police - particularly a case in which Smith agreed to interview a woman, suspected of murdering her baby, at her home while fully aware that the home had been secretly bugged by the authorities.



"A police officer will face trial for manslaughter over the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests,"
the Guardian story by reporter Paul Lewis published earlier today under the heading, "Tomlinson police officer to face manslaughter trial: PC Simon Harwood will face criminal proceedings for striking newspaper vendor with a baton during G20 protests in 2009."

"PC Simon Harwood, 43, a Metropolitan police officer, will face a criminal prosecution for striking Tomlinson with a baton and pushing him to the ground in April 2009."
the story continues.

"Tomlinson, 47, had been trying to make his way home from work through demonstrations near the Bank of England when he was pushed from behind. He collapsed and died three minutes later.

Three weeks ago an inquest jury decided Tomlinson was "unlawfully killed".

The director of public prosections, Keir Starmer, had announced in July last year that he did not believe there was sufficient evidence for a prosecution due to complications relating to medical evidence.

However, he said in a statement on Tuesday that new information had emerged during the inquest and, while difficulties remained, he now believed there was sufficient evidence to bring criminal proceedings.

"Taking the evidence as it now stands, we have concluded that, even with those remaining difficulties, there is now sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of successfully prosecuting PC Simon Harwood for the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson," he said. "That being the case, it is clearly in the public interest that criminal proceedings be brought.

"Accordingly, a summons charging PC Harwood with the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson has been obtained from the City of Westminster magistrates court. He will appear before that court on 20 June 2011."

The DPP said the inquest had allowed "a degree of clarity" to emerge and had resolved some complications relating to medical evidence.

The judge presiding over the inquest as assistant deputy coroner had reminded jurors repeatedly that the five-week hearing was not a criminal trial or designed to apportion blame for Tomlinson's death.

Judge Peter Thornton QC said on the opening day of proceedings: "An inquest is very different from cases in other courts. Nobody is on trial. No organisation is on trial. You, as the jury, will not decide any question of criminal or civil liability. That is why you are a jury of 11, for example, a historically different number to a jury in criminal cases."

Jurors were told there were two possible explanations for Tomlinson's death. The first pathologist to examine his body, Dr Freddy Patel, concluded that he died of coronary artery disease.

However, three other forensic pathologists disagreed, concluding that he died of internal bleeding.

On 3 May, the inquest jury returned a verdict of "unlawful killing", stating that Tomlinson died as a result of internal bleeding in the abdomen. The Crown Prosecution Service immediately said it would review its earlier decision not to bring criminal proceedings against Harwood.

In a detailed statement setting out the reversal of his earlier decision, Starmer said: "The difficulty facing any prosecution in relation to the death of Mr Tomlinson lies in the conflicting medical evidence about the cause of death. That difficulty remains.

"A criminal trial is different to an inquest and it is my duty to ensure that a prosecution is only brought where there is evidence available to the prosecution that provides a realistic prospect of a jury being able to satisfy themselves beyond reasonable doubt that an offence has been committed. For that reason very careful consideration is required where there is conflicting medical evidence.

"However, matters have moved on in two ways since the original decision was taken in this case. First, new medical evidence was presented at the inquest. Second, the various accounts and opinions given by the medical experts, including Dr Patel, were tested in extensive questioning at the inquest; this has changed the basis upon which the case falls to be considered."

The DPP indicated that the inquest process had itself been important. "But for the inquest, the significant conflicts in the evidence that had previously existed could not have been addressed; and the inquest process, which is less confined than a criminal trial, has allowed a degree of clarity to emerge."

He added: "We have considered the new evidence adduced at the inquest and the final positions adopted by the medical experts very carefully indeed.

"Having done so, we are satisfied that the position in relation to the medical evidence about the cause of death has clearly changed. The difficulties that would now confront any prosecution have changed in nature and scale from last year when a decision was taken not to prosecute, although it is clear that real difficulties remain."

Starmer reminded the media that care should be taken to avoid prejudicing criminal proceedings against Harwood. "He has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice his trial."

Ian Tomlinson's son Paul King said in a statement on behalf of the family: "We welcome today's decision to bring a charge of manslaughter against the officer. We believe this is the right decision. What we have always wanted is to achieve justice for Ian and to show that police officers are not above the law.""


The story can be found at:



PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:


Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: