BY LUC CHIGNELL, Nottinghamshire
As the news emerged from Southwark Crown Court that PC Simon Harwood had been acquitted of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson, gasps went out across Britain. How could anyone have possibly found him not guilty? It was there on the video which everyone had seen, PC Harwood struck Mr Tomlinson with his police baton and Mr Tomlinson collapsed and died – case closed, surely? In practice the case was nowhere near as simple as this. A conviction would have required the jury to be sure that PC Harwood had not only committed a criminal assault, crucially that means it must not be justified by his operational role, but that this assault was the cause of Tomlinson’s death.
I do not intend to offer my own opinions on PC Harwood’s culpability, or lack thereof, because it would be completely unhelpful for me to do so. Like many…
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