PC who pushed Ian Tomlinson sacked for gross misconduct

Sep 17, 2012

Pc Simon Harwood attends internal disciplinary held in public – a first for Scotland Yard

THE officer cleared of killing Ian Tomlinson at London's G20 protest was today sacked with immediate effect after being found guilty of gross misconduct by a Metropolitan Police disciplinary panel.

Harwood accepted that his actions brought "discredit" to the Met and amounted to gross misconduct, the hearing heard this morning.

Tomlinson was hit by Harwood with a baton and pushed to the ground before dying minutes later during the protests in April 2009.

Under recommendation from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, this is the first time a Met Police disciplinary hearing has been held in public, reports the BBC.

Harwood, who is currently suspended, has apparently twice offered to resign over the incident.

Patrick Gibbs QC, for Harwood, told the hearing: "PC Harwood does indeed accept that the discredit which his actions, and the way in which they have been reported, has brought upon the Metropolitan Police Service amounts to gross misconduct.

"He has twice offered his resignation to the commissioner."

Gibbs added: "If he had known then what he now knows about the circumstances, everybody's movements and Mr Tomlinson's health, he would have used no force, let alone the force that he did use."

Harwood, 45, has not accepted that his behaviour contributed to the death of Tomlinson. An inquest in May this year said Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed. But Harwood, from south London, denied manslaughter on the grounds that he used reasonable force and was acquitted at Southwark Crown Court in July.

Today’s hearing, held at the Empress State Building, at Earls Court, was overseen by a panel of three people, including a lay person and a senior officer. The panel has decided it will not consider whether or not Harwood's actions caused or contributed to Mr Tomlinson's death in 2009 - an aspect they had been planning to address.

Tomlinson's family has said they will be pursuing the case in a civil court.

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