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PC to be prosecuted for manslaughter

In a brave decision, Tim Owen QC has advised the CPS and Keir Starmer in particular that PC Harwood should be prosecuted for manslaughter over the death of Ian Tomlinson.  I say brave as they may both now find themselves facing the ire of police officers across the country.

I am not quite sure that Keir Starmer meant when he said that the inquest had allowed "a degree of clarity to emerge" regarding the medical evidence.  It sounds as though he is saying that the medical evidence wasn't clear when the CPS took their original decision not to prosecute.  If that is the case it rather beggars the question: "Why didn't they CPS seek clarification prior to making the original decision?"


  1. There were bound to be a few weasel words in the CPS statement, since it pretty well shows that the original decision not to prosecute was wrong. What Starmer failed to mention is that the medical evidence was 'clarified' as he puts it, by questioning, in public and in front of a jury - which after all is the usual and proper way of clarifying evidence and why charges should have been preferred first time round.

    Ah well, the CPS got there in the end.

    As to the ire of police officers, I don't see why there should be any. I guess there will be a few 'but for the grace of God' moments - but if any officer thinks they should be beyond the law when it comes to unprovoked assaults on innocent civilians they deserve a bit of a shake-up. Judging by the testimony of other officers at the inquest I would not expect much in the way of a backlash.


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