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Ian Tomlinson family receive police payout over G20 death

By DPF Admin5th August 2013Latest News

The Met Police has apologised to the family of Ian Tomlinson and reached an out-of-court settlement over his death at the G20 protests in London in 2009.

The force apologised “unreservedly” for the “excessive and unlawful force” used by one of its officers.

Mr Tomlinson had been walking home when he was struck with a baton and pushed to the ground by then-PC Simon Harwood.

His widow, Julia, said the apology was “as close as we are going to get to justice”.

She also said the family could “finally start looking to the future again”.

Mr Tomlinson's widow and seven of his children and step-children had pursued the compensation claim. The amount has not been disclosed.

'Mental distress'

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Maxine de Brunner said in a statement: “I apologise unreservedly for Simon Harwood's use of excessive and unlawful force which caused Mr Tomlinson's death, and for the suffering and distress caused to his family as a result.”

The statement also said that all litigation between the force and the Tomlinson family had been resolved.

“An out-of-court settlement has been agreed that acknowledges the suffering Julia Tomlinson and the family have endured with dignity over the last four years.

“In view of the physical and mental distress caused to the members of the family by these events and the understandable publicity and press interest, it has been agreed that it is in the best interests of the family that no further statement will be made, either by them or the commissioner, regarding the terms of the settlement.”

Mr Tomlinson, a 47-year-old newspaper seller, collapsed minutes after being struck with a baton and died of internal bleeding, in what was later found by an inquest jury to be an unlawful killing.

Though Mr Harwood was acquitted last year of manslaughter, he was later sacked by the Met Police for gross misconduct.

'Got it wrong'

Ms de Brunner said: “I take full responsibility for the actions of Simon Harwood on 1 April 2009. His actions fell far below the standard we expect from our officers. I accept the finding of the inquest that Mr Tomlinson was unlawfully killed.”

She went on: “The commissioner also apologises to the family for ill-considered comments made in the media in the immediate aftermath of Mr Tomlinson's death which served to distract attention away from the investigation into the death.”

Ms de Brunner said it was a “matter of deep regret that Mr Tomlinson's family learned of the nature of his contact with Simon Harwood through the press”, and the commissioner also apologised for the information given by a Met Police officer to the pathologists “that misled them initially as to the cause of death”.

“While we are satisfied that the officer's actions were inadvertent, and not designed to mislead the pathologists, this should not have happened and I apologise to the family for the additional distress it caused them,” she said.

She also said the force had “got it wrong” when it came to disciplining Mr Harwood, stressing the case had highlighted “significant failings in the vetting procedures” at the Met.

“It is clear that insufficient recording and checks meant that detailed information regarding the officer's misconduct history was not shared at key points,” she said.

Source BBC News. Image source Mirror and Daily Record.

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