G20 Pc 'accepts discrediting force'

Blackpool Citizen: Pc Simon Harwood faces police disciplinary proceedings in connection with the death of Ian Tomlinson Pc Simon Harwood faces police disciplinary proceedings in connection with the death of Ian Tomlinson

The police officer accused of killing Ian Tomlinson has accepted that his actions brought discredit to the force, a disciplinary hearing has been told.

Pc Simon Harwood admitted that his conduct on the day the newspaper seller died, and the way in which it was reported by the media, brought discredit on the Metropolitan Police and this amounted to gross misconduct.

However, his lawyers have refused to accept an allegation that his actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the 47-year-old's death.

Harwood, 45, hit Mr Tomlinson with his baton and shoved him to the ground during the G20 protests near the Royal Exchange Buildings in the City of London in April 2009.

Mr Tomlinson, 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, from Carshalton in Surrey, has already been acquitted of Mr Tomlinson's manslaughter, although an inquest found the father of nine was unlawfully killed.

He is now facing police disciplinary proceedings, which are being held by the Met in public for the first time.

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."

He said that, with the benefit of hindsight, Harwood would have used "no force at all" if he had known about the state of Mr Tomlinson's health.

Mr Gibbs said: "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."

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