Justice will be done?

Seems the police officer who attacked and was contributory (allegedly) to the death of Ian Tomlinson is to face trial.


an Tomlinson was unlawfully killed by a Metropolitan Police officer at the G20 protests, an inquest jury has said.

The 47-year-old collapsed and died after he was hit by a baton and pushed to the ground by Pc Simon Harwood at the protests in London on 1 April 2009.

The Crown Prosecution Service could reopen criminal proceedings against Pc Harwood after jurors ruled he acted illegally, recklessly and dangerously.

Mr Tomlinson’s family said the verdict was a “huge relief”.

The jury decided Pc Harwood used “excessive and unreasonable” force in striking Mr Tomlinson.

Jurors added that the newspaper seller, who was not taking part in the protests, posed no threat.

Now this is all the more serious because Pc Harwood was supposed to be upholding the law and whilst on occasions the police have been known to dish it out against protesters, they were supposed to limit themselves to the protesters, not innocent bypassers. Yet Harwood will probably not face any really nasty consequences of his actions though he may yet face doing some time in prison, though the way the police have attempted to shield him from the consequences of his violent nature gives me pause to wonder.

A while ago the public were asked about their thoughts on what should be done about young offenders, the answers they got of course weren’t the ones they liked, yet shows that the public do want criminals to face a far tougher penalty for their actions. Mind you, there’s a saying that goes a bit like this, “If you don’t think you’ll like the answer, don’t ask the question.”


The Government asked members of the public in the North West to suggest jobs that youngsters could be ordered to carry out as part of their punishment.

In six weeks, 131 ideas were put forward including locking the youngsters in the stocks and pelting them with oranges.

One person suggested public floggings, saying: “They would soon lose all ‘street cred’ and NEVER re-offend again.”

Of course this goes completely against the political class ethos of the criminals not facing the consequences of their actions but rather looking for causes and excuses rather than playing the blame game and dealing with criminal activity in a hard but fair manner.

Mind you there are lots of things that politicians ignore the wishes of the public on.

Hanging… Yes mistakes can be made and the innocent hung, though I’m sure the public only mean those that are bang to rights ie Sutcliffe and Huntley as well as the moors murderers where there isn’t a shadow of doubt involved.

The EU. Well out of step with the public there, but as we still tend to elect them, perhaps we only have ourselves to blame.

Same with punishing the guilty, the liberal left tend to look to understanding rather than punishment, until at least they are offended against, then the join the hang em and flog em brigade big time.

Not that I’m for public flogging, but I am for a reasonably robust legal system that can lock away the violent and the habitual criminal rather than the person who can’t pay or is no danger to the public. Moving the emphasis of the legal system away from property/theft rights towards personal injury/violence would be a start, it certainly might have given Harwood pause for thought.

5 comments for “Justice will be done?

  1. May 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    The police blogs have, of course, been up in arms since the verdict of the inquest. The majority very much with a ‘let’s take our ball and go home’ attitude, some taking the approach that ‘well, it’s poor behaviour on the part of the officer, but he needs to be excused because of the stress he was under’ and a principled few admitting that they were shocked by what they’d seen from Harwood and couldn’t excuse it…

    • May 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      The stress he was under isn’t an excuse, of course. It’s part of the job.

      The police are well aware – or at least, they damned well should be – that the law is clear and if you kill someone then there is a price to pay. In this case, I would suggest that there is enough evidecne for a charge of manslaughter. Nothing Tomlinson did justified the treatment meted out. Okay, so Harwood didn’t know about his underlying condition. That’s just tough luck, frankly. “Excessive and unreasonable” force that resulted in death looks like manslaughter from here. Had Tomlinson not died, then a lesser charge would apply.

      • May 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

        Look at the effort put into a student throwing a fire extinguisher from a roof where no one was hurt. If a demonstrator had killed a policeman with a similar condition they would call it murder.

        One rule for them and one rule for us.

        I was listening to Radio 2 on this earlier and callers were saying he had it coming for provoking the police. (P)sycophants.

  2. May 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    That’s fair summary. As luck would have it, my caricature du jour fits in with the theme.

  3. Chuckles
    May 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Normally, justice must not only be seen to be done, it has to be seen to be believed.

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