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article imagePolicemen behaving badly

By Alexander Baron     Aug 25, 2012 in Crime
London - Simon Harwood may have been acquitted of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson, but this affair is far from over as he faces a disciplinary hearing.
Last month, PC Simon Harwood, who might rightly be described as a thug in uniform, was cleared of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson. Ordinarily, one would not expect a man to drop dead after being whacked on the back of the leg with a baton and then pushed over, so this was probably the correct verdict. Likewise, ordinarily, one would not expect a police officer to launch a gratuitous attack on a man from behind, a man who was simply standing still minding his own business and trying to work out how he would get back to his hostel through the crowds.
Things are not over yet for Mr Harwood as he is set to face an internal disciplinary committee. According to Police Oracle, the hearing will be open to the public, although there will of course be heavy demand for the limited seats. It will begin on September 17 and is scheduled to last 4 weeks, which does seem inordinately lengthy, but, having failed to squelch any investigation at all, the police hierarchy appear to have decided - or been pressured into - doing everything by the book.
When it became apparent the assault on Ian Tomlinson and his subsequent collapse had been filmed, the privilege money can't buy moved into action, and an (at best) incompetent pathologist was brought in to perform the postmortem/autopsy. Fortunately, neither Mr Tomlinson's family nor the media nor the general public would allow themselves to be fobbed off, and a second one was held. And a third, by Simon Harwood's legal team, the results of which were not disclosed.
The pathologist concerned, Dr Patel, has now himself faced a disciplinary hearing, and has been struck off. The tribunal found he had made a staggering 68 failings in that one autopsy. As Oscar Wilde might have said, to make one mistake is human, two incompetence, but 68 smacks of something else. Join up the dots.
Unfortunately (soon-to-be former?) police officer Simon Harwood is not the only man in blue who doesn't realise he is supposed to protect the public. PC John Lovegrove and a colleague arrested a teenager and handcuffed him after which there was a bit of a struggle. This resulted in a curious assault charge, which was even more curious when CCTV of the arrest was viewed.
The youth in question has not been named, presumably because of his age, but the case was thrown out at Bromley Youth Court. He claims to have been stopped about fifty times by the police over the past four years - "about" because he has lost count. Not one of these stoppages, arrests or court appearances has resulted in a conviction. Either he is an incredibly cunning and devious master criminal, or the victim of a prolonged case of harassment. We may find out which if as suggested, he sues the police. There is also the little matter of PC Ludgrove and his apparent disrespect for truth, which can amount to a disciplinary offence or even a perjury charge. Just don't hold your breath waiting for the police or the CPS to bring either.
More about Ian Tomlinson, PC Simon Harwood, PC John Lovegrove
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