Move Along, There’s Nothing to See…

Christopher Houseman

Five years to the day after the Metropolitan Police shot dead an innocent Brazilian electrician named Jean Charles de Menezes in the wake of the 7/7 and 21/7 terrorist attacks, the CPS has announced that no charges will be laid against the police officer who struck Ian Tomlinson to the ground at the G20 protests in April 2009.

Mr. Tomlinson died shortly thereafter either of a heart attack (per 1 post mortem) or of internal bleeding as a result of injuries sustained (according to 2 subsequent post mortem examinations). The CPS has therefore concluded that a successful prosecution for murder/manslaughter or even ABH is unlikely.

What’s more, the length of time it’s taken the CPS to investigate the matter (16 months) prevents even a charge of common assault being brought. There’s a 6 month time limit on such a charge.

In response to the CPS statement, the Metropolitan police has issued a public statement expressing regret over Mr. Tomlinson’s death and indicating that misconduct proceedings may yet take place.



    This is a monstrous decision. How can anyone, ever again have any faith in our system of justice? There can be no question but that Keir Starmer must go. He has failed miserably to see beyond the minutiae and detail to the bigger and more important picture. He has failed all of us, each and every individual citizen of this country. Whatever it takes, be it a special Act of Parliament, he must be removed from office and PC Simon Harwood, thug, brute and murderer of Ian Tomlinson must be brought to justice.

  2. The man was murdered plain and simple. It is totally unacceptable that such inquiries take five years. There were not five years of data to sift through. Just a handful of policeman to interview (giving conflicting stories). I would be surprised if the process took a month. Not even common assault! Not a single senior police officer has even considered resigning over the matter – it shows you that they know they can get away with it…

  3. Is the answer to make it easier and cheaper to launch private prosecutions? The CPS should not have the monopoly on this – it is so easy for the authorities to get their mates in the CPS to drop all charges.

  4. Yes, surely that is what must happen now. I’ll put in £50 towards the Tomlinson family’s legal costs and so will thousands of others

  5. The police and the CPS are a nationalised industry at work, please don’t be too surprised by the outcome. Poor service and self serving justifications are to be expected.

    You have the benefit of private prosecution in the UK, this is the only route here. Then a civil suit based upon the outcome of the criminal proceedings. Applied with care some redress may be possible but going to law needs a strong stomach and pit bull fortitude. Go fetch!

  6. C’mon then! Where’s all you shyster lawyers touting for business. Who’s going to give us a quote, eh, John?

  7. Not wishing to be to provocative, but after rewatching the video clip i don’t think that Tomlinson was a completely innocent party inadvertently caught up in the G20 protests.

    He was clearly deliberately trying to get in the way of the police officers, blocking and walking slowly. It was a deliberate placing of himself in harms way.

    I am very, very sorry that he was hurt and died, the police officer should not have pushed him like that, but this was NOT a man innocently caught up in the demonstrations, he deliberately put hmself there and deliberately tied to obstruct the police at a very difficult time.

  8. Western civilisation is being taken apart, brick by brick, and in the circumstances in which we find ourselves in the year 2000+, part of that is trashing the police.
    That police should be bully-boy rogues is unacceptable.
    However we are human and I would agree with the points made above by CH Ingoldby.
    The attacks on the police by in this situation and the Menendez situation remind me of the statement that propagandists are lying even when they are telling the truth.

  9. @CH Ingoldby

    You’re not being provocative. You’re being outrageously unjust. So you have to look very carefully to come up with a possibility that Tomlinson might not be entirely innocent?

    What planet are you on?

    You caricature exactly the problem with so many police officers, looking for justification for their own inexcusable behaviour.

    The more I look at the footage the more convinced I am that it wasn’t manslaughter, it was deliberate, cold-blooded murder. Harwood came at him from behind, unprovoked,firts with a baton and then with a shove, clearly intending to cause him serious harm or being entirely reckless about it.
    With the revelations about Harwood’s antecedents it is cleat that he is just another pyschopath in uniform. The man is a violent monster a thusg and a murderer. Let me come up behind him with a baton!

  10. Yes. Police should not be able to get away with being thugs. However, I suppose a certain predisposition to physical force is required for those joining any of the forces?
    The G20 demonstrations had become a bit of a battle zone, and protesters, even journalists in battle zones sometimes get zapped.
    It goes with the location.
    Life is a risky business. If you choose to go into a battle zone you are making it more risky.
    Mr Thomlinson, from what I have seen, was not bludgeoned to death.
    He was pushed. He may have been thumped.
    That does not seem to add up to deliberate murder. More like stupid and unprofessional exasperation.

  11. There should have been a criminal prosecution, and the matter should have been left to a jury. They could have judged, whether Ian Tomlinson was at fault, whether the policeman was justified in strucking him or not, and whether the expert evidence left them sure beyond reasonable doubt that the blow led to his death.

  12. Yes, I was wrong to say it was murder — I was going way OTT there. He was only pushed. And pushing someeone who appeared to be part of the demonstration might be justified in the circumstances.

    But as other posters said, there should still be a trial. More than anything else though – and this is the really important thing about the case – is that the CPS should not control access to justice.

  13. I have visions of Keith Starmer eventually getting a peerage, and then at some future stage — say when a government in ten years’ time orders an inquiry into whether the UK government sent troops into Afghanistan without the right equipment – Lord Starmer will be appointed to oversee the inquiry, just like Lords Hutton and Butler before him. He seems a safe pair of hands from the Establishment point of view.

  14. Yes, even more so than the straightforward thug Harwood, Keir Starmer, our dissembling DPP is responsible for this terrible perversion of justice. Harwood deserves a week or so, unprotected, in Brixton followed by another 10 years at least on rule 43. Starmer, though, and his co-conspirators are guilty of a much more serious offence of subversion, an undermining of our system of law and perverting the course of justice.

  15. Yes dj, that’s why Starmer must be stopped now. Otherwise you’re right. He’ll be the next Lord Widgery, stepping into to cover up whateverthe establishment wants hushed up.

    What staggers me about this is that, yes, like the title of this blog, I count myself a libertarian but I also count myself a Tory. I can barely believe what I am saying myself but, yes, this is how low our police and our judical system has stooped. It is rotten to the core

  16. I just watched the video of the striking of Ian Tomlinson – it is obvious that he was not part of the demonstration. Also I think the PC’s decision to cover his label number and obscure his face was gross misconduct of some kind – designed to allow him to go further than the law allowed without being identified. I wonder whether, like de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson will be the subject of a health and safety inquiry.

  17. Peter Reynolds, whatever the rights and wrongs of what happened, when you call it ‘deliberate, cold-blooded murder’ you show yourself up as a hysterical exaggerator and undermine your own case.

    There is no way in the world that was deliberate murder. To call it such demonstates that you are suffering an excess of hatred that is overriding any sense of reason and justice.

  18. @CH Ingoldby

    I have no hatred within me, only righteous anger.

    Harwood came at Tomlinson, an innocent bystander, from behind, without any warning, struck him first with the baton to disable Tomlinson’s left leg and then placed his foot behind Tomlinson’s right leg before striking him hard from behind so that he must fall forward without any chance of regaining his balance. Harwood did this without any cause but clearly with the intention of causing harm and entirely recklessly as to the consequences.

    More than enough to substantiate a charge of murder.

  19. There is a simple way to start clearing up the mess our criminal justice system is in. Every chief constable and the equivalent rank of prosecutor should be directly elected by the public, as should their principle deputies. The eligibility criteria should be kept low, so that the authorities can’t stitch the elections up.

  20. What about restoring the old system where the police stations as I understand it (please correct if wrong, as I very hazy out this) had the right to initiate prosecutions,a nd not a nationally centralised CPS.

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