|PC Simon Harwood - Not Guilty|
This afternoon the jury sitting at the trial of Simon Harwood charged with the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson have found him not guilty.
I wrote about this subject last year. I didn't like what I saw but I wasn't there and I hadn't seen all the evidence. Most importantly, was it PC Harwood's actions that caused his death or was Tomlinson a sick man who could have collapsed and died at any time? The medical evidence was still in dispute at the trial.
It is interesting that juries at inquests seem to be quite willing to decide that deaths amount to unlawful killing when there is no prospect of a police office serving time for their decision. When it comes to criminal trials they appear to be a little more cautious. I suspect that if this ever goes to a civil court a jury may be more generous and so no doubt there will still be a settlement for his family.
I have no doubt that Mr Tomlinson's 'loving and caring' family (he was a drunk living in a grubby hostel and barely saw them) will be outraged by the jury's decision. It won't help their compensation case. Some of the media may cover this in editorial tomorrow. I also have no doubt that a small number of commentators will come crawling out from under their stones stating that the police have got away with another unlawful killing.
I said in my previous article that I would let the jury decide. Twelve of your peers have heard all the evidence in detail. They have deliberated for four days and have decided that there is insufficient evidence to convict. That is it. To argue any differently is meaningless.