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Ian Tomlinson, seen here moments before he was pushed by a police officer at G20 protests in 2009
A jury in the inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson has concluded he was unlawfully killed by a police officer at the G20 protests.
The inquest did not apportion blame for Tomlinson's death and did not refer to PC Simon Harwood – the officer who struck the newspaper vendor – by name.
However, it will be taken to be the strongest possible indictment of the actions of the police officer, who told jurors he believed his baton strike and push were justified.
Shortly after the verdict, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Keir Starmer QC, director of public prosecutions, would carry out a "thorough review'' of his decision last year not to prosecute Harwood. Starmer said last year there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the officer for manslaughter.
Today the jury said Harwood used "excessive and unreasonable" force on Tomlinson, who "posed no threat".
Police initially denied Tomlinson had contact with police officers before his death on 1 April 2009.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission only launched a criminal inquiry a week later, after the Guardian released footage showing the newspaper seller being struck from behind by Harwood along Royal Exchange Buildings.
The footage was played repeatedly during the five-week hearing at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in Fleet Street, London.
Jurors were given two divergent explanations of his death.
The first pathologist to conduct a postmortem examination on the body, Dr Freddy Patel, said he died of a heart attack as a result of coronary heart disease. He was contradicted by three other pathologists who examined Tomlinson's body, all of whom found he died of internal bleeding in the abdomen.
Starmer said last July that complications with medical evidence led him to believe prosecutors were unlikely to prove a cause of death. His decision was supported by the attorney general, Dominic Grieve.
Both will now have to consider how a jury of seven men and four women concluded Tomlinson died as a result of being pushed by Harwood.
The CPS will consider new medical evidence given to the inquest by Prof Kevin Channer, a heart expert who appeared to contradict the theory that Tomlinson died of a heart attack.
He said defibrillator readings of Tomlinson's heart activity moments after his collapse were "entirely inconsistent" with Patel's explanation of his death.
Tomlinson, a 47-year-old father of nine, had been trying to walk home from work through the demonstrations near the Bank of England on the evening he died. An alcoholic, he had been drinking heavily and was looking vacant and confused as he was repeatedly turned away from police cordons.
At 7.20pm he stumbled on to Royal Exchange Buildings, a passage police had been ordered to clear. Tomlinson had his hands in his pockets and was walking away from police when he was struck with a baton and pushed from behind by Harwood.
During three days of evidence at the inquest, Harwood, 43, told jurors that he believed at the time that Tomlinson was obstructing police and he believed his actions were proportionate.
Harwood will face a Metropolitan police gross misconduct hearing, at which he stands accused of "inadvertently causing or contributing to" Tomlinson's death. If found guilty by the disciplinary panel, Harwood, who is currently suspended on full pay, would almost certainly be sacked.
Inquest jurors were told they could only decide Tomlinson was unlawfully killed if they were convinced beyond reasonable doubt, the same burden of proof which would apply in a criminal trial.
Today's verdict brings to an end a two-year wait for Tomlinson's family, who maintain police attempted to cover up officers' involvement in his death.
19 July 2012 Last updated at 16:24 Ian Tomlinson death: PC cleared
Footage showed police push Mr Tomlinson - video courtesy Guardian.co.uk
A police officer who hit Ian Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground at the G20 protests has been found not guilty of manslaughter.
PC Simon Harwood, 45, of south London, denied the manslaughter, in April 2009, of Mr Tomlinson, 47, on the grounds that he used reasonable force.
Mr Tomlinson, was pushed as he walked away from a police line in the City of London. He later collapsed and died.
His family said they would be pursuing the case in a civil court.
It is not clear if that will be against PC Harwood as an individual or against the Metropolitan Police.
Mr Tomlinson's family cried in the public gallery as the verdict was read out
"After the unlawful killing verdict at the inquest last year, we expected to hear a guilty verdict - not a not guilty verdict and it really hurts," Mr Tomlinson's stepson Paul King, said outside the court.
"It's not the end, we are not giving up for justice for Ian."
Members of Mr Tomlinson's family cried in the public gallery as the verdict was delivered at Southwark Crown Court.
PC Harwood, in the dock, and his wife, in the public gallery, also cried.
The jury of five men and seven women had considered their verdict for four days. Continue reading the main story
Ian Tomlinson timeline
1 April 2009: Ian Tomlinson is caught up in a G20 protest. He collapses in the street and dies 4 April: Police say post-mortem examination show he died of "natural causes" 7 April: Video footage emerges of Mr Tomlinson being pushed to the ground by police officer April 2009: Further post-mortem tests find cause of death was abdominal bleeding, caused by blow 22 July: Prosecutors say there will be no charges as there is no agreement on death cause 3 May 2011: Inquest verdict of unlawful killing 20 June 2011: PC Simon Harwood charged with manslaughter after review of inquest evidence 18 June 2012: PC Harwood goes on trial at Southwark Crown Court 19 July 2012: PC Harwood found not guilty
Timeline: Ian Tomlinson's death
During the trial, the police officer had accepted he was "wrong" to have hit and pushed Mr Tomlinson.
He said had he realised at the time Mr Tomlinson was walking away from police lines, he "would not have gone near him".
Father-of-nine Mr Tomlinson, a heavy drinker who had slept rough for a number of years, walked 75 yards before he collapsed.
It has emerged that, in 2000, five years after he joined the Met, PC Harwood was involved in what was described at Mr Tomlinson's inquest as a "road rage" incident but his employment record was kept from the jury.
He was off-duty and the other driver complained of unlawful arrest and abuse of authority. PC Harwood denied the accusation but retired on medical grounds in 2001 before a disciplinary hearing took place.
He rejoined the Met in late 2004 - Scotland Yard's vetting unit had considered the road rage incident but had not reviewed the full file.
Deborah Glass, deputy chairwoman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said after the verdict "significant questions" remained over PC Harwood's actions on 1 April 2009.
PC Harwood was the subject of 10 complaints over 12 years but only one was found against him
She said whether or not those actions were reasonable would be tested at a misconduct hearing to be held in public in September.
"PC Harwood was able to retire from the Metropolitan Police while facing disciplinary proceedings for previous alleged misconduct towards a member of the public," she said.
"That he was then re-employed by the force, first in a civilian role and later as a constable, is simply staggering and raises considerable concerns about their vetting procedures."
The Met Police, meanwhile, said it was clear "insufficient recording and checks meant detailed information regarding the officer's misconduct history was not shared at key points".
"We got that wrong," it said in a statement, adding there had since been "huge changes" to its vetting system.
"Now all applicants, including officers applying to become police staff, as well those re-joining or transferring from other police services, are formally vetted and this involves a full misconduct intelligence check."
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Ian Tomlinson pathologist Freddy Patel guilty of misconduct and dishonesty
Tribunal rules Dr Patel's 'closed mindset' in sticking to original postmortem findings brought profession into disrepute
James Meikle guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 August 2012 19.24 BST
Dr Freddy Patel 'undermined the coronial system' due to a catalogue of errors in postmortems dating back 10 years, the independent panel found. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features
Freddy Patel, the pathologist who conducted the first postmortem on Ian Tomlinson, has been found guilty by a medical tribunal of misconduct, deficient professional performance and dishonesty.
An independent fitness to practice panel said Patel had brought his profession into disrepute and had shown "a closed mindset" in April 2009 when he had attributed Tomlinson's death during the G20 protests to coronary heart disease.
Patel did not change his mind after he had seen video footage of Tomlinson being struck to the ground, despite finding fluid and blood in Tomlinson's abdominal cavity, or when three other pathologists considered Tomlinson had died as a result of bleeding from a traumatic liver injury caused by a push and fall to the ground.
He also lied about his status, allowing him to remain on the official Home Office register of forensic pathologists on which he was still listed when the City of London coroner Paul Matthews summoned him to establish Tomlinson's cause of death.
The panel found he had deliberately concealed that he was not on a group practice of pathologists, a requirement to remain on the register after 2006, as it also reviewed Patel's failures in other cases dating back to 2002. Patel had been suspended from the medical register – the database of doctors legally allowed to practise in the UK – for other failures in 2010 and 2011.
Panel chair Robert Lloyd-Richards said: "It is clearly in the interest of the general public that they should be able to have confidence in the coronial system and this confidence has been undermined by your failures in these cases.
"Having considered everything before it the panel has determined that your fitness to practise … is impaired by reason of misconduct and deficient professional performance in the case of Mr Tomlinson."
The independent panel sitting for the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, part of the doctors' professional regulator, the General Medical Council, will now decide what professional sanctions Patel should face. Government agencies have made it clear it is impossible to know whether Patel would have been called to examine Tomlinson's body if the facts about his CV were known at the time.
Coroners have the jurisdiction on choosing who does postmortems and there is no legal requirement for them to use a forensic pathologist on the register.
The National Police Improvement Agency, which administers the list, says it has implemented a series of measures to ensure that forensic pathologists perform to the highest standards.
In September 2010 Paul Matthews, the City of London coroner, issued a statement saying that when he had appointed Patel to conduct Tomlinson's postmortem, the pathologist was a fully registered medical practitioner (the only qualification required by the Coroners Act) and was also on the Home Office register. Attempts by the Guardian to contact him on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Simon Harwood, the police officer who pushed Tomlinson to the ground, will face disciplinary proceedings on 17 September. Harwood was acquitted of manslaughter in connection with Tomlinson's death in July, but the Independent Police Complaints Commission has ordered that he face an internal Metropolitan police hearing in public. Scotland Yard said there would be a gross misconduct hearing in front of a panel of three people, including a senior officer and a lay person. It is expected to last up to four weeks.
Harwood hit Tomlinson with his baton and shoved him to the ground near the Royal Exchange buildings in London. The 47-year-old, who was an alcoholic and had slept rough for a number of years, managed to walk 75 yards before he collapsed and later died from internal bleeding.
Harwood told jurors at Southwark crown court he had used only reasonable force, and was cleared of killing the father-of-nine. Jurors in an inquest into the death had earlier returned a verdict of unlawful killing.
Julia Tomlinson, Tomlinson's widow, said "The incompetence and dishonesty of Freddy Patel helped PC Harwood and gave us an uphill battle for justice from the start. He misled everyone saying that Ian had died of a heart attack when in fact he had died of internal bleeding. It's good that people can see some of the things we have been up against.
"Patel has a lot to answer for and I would like to know why with all the good pathologists there are he was selected to do the first postmortem."
Patel has faced a number of disciplinary hearings. In 2002 he was reprimanded for breaching patient confidentiality in 1999 by telling journalists that Roger Sylvester, a 30-year-old who died in police custody, had been taking crack cocaine.
In October 2010 Patel was suspended from the medical register after a disciplinary panel concluded he was "irresponsible" and failed to meet professional standards during his examinations of the bodies of a five-year-old girl in 2002, a four-week-old baby in 2003 and a woman who died in 2005.
In March last year he was found to have falsified his CV and to have conducted a botched autopsy in 2002 on the body of 31-year-old sex worker Sally White, who was the first victim of 'Camden Ripper' Anthony Hardy.
Patel suggested White had died from a heart attack during consensual sex despite evidence of blood-stained clothing and bedding. This discouraged a police investigation that might have saved two later victims of Hardy.
The Metropolitan police's contract with Patel was not renewed in 2004.
• This article was amended on 22 August 2012. The original said GMC panel instead of tribunal. This has been corrected.