Met payout deal ‘close’ over riot police death

SCOTLAND YARD is close to agreeing compensation with the family of Ian Tomlinson, who died after being pushed to the ground by a riot officer during G20 protests.

The force will admit liability for the unlawful killing after Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was authorised to finalise the settlement of a case brought by the Tomlinson family, according to The Times.

Pc Simon Harwood was dismissed without notice after a police disciplinary panel found him guilty of gross misconduct following the death.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

He hit Mr Tomlinson, 47, with a baton and shoved him to the ground on the fringes of the protests in the City of London in April 2009. Mr Tomlinson, who was walking away from police lines at the time, stumbled 75 yards before he collapsed and later died from internal injuries.

Stephen Greenhalgh, the deputy mayor for policing in London, authorised the Met in June to “increase the sum offered to reach the settlement”, The Times said.

According to documents from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Mr Tomlinson’s family has been seeking damages for “assault and battery”, bereavement damages for his widow, “dependency claims” for each family member for “breach of the right to life” as well as funeral expenses, the BBC said.

A jury at the inquest into Mr Tomlinson’s death returned a verdict of unlawful killing in May 2011. Pc Harwood used “excessive and unreasonable’’ force in hitting Mr Tomlinson with a baton, the jury said.

The officer was charged with manslaughter but was later acquitted following a trial at Southwark Crown Court in July last year.

It emerged Harwood had a controversial disciplinary record before he came across Mr Tomlinson. A series of allegations were made against him, including an incident where he was accused of knocking a driver over a car door.

He retired on medical grounds before disciplinary proceedings were resolved, but went on to work as an officer for Surrey Police and eventually returned to the Met in 2004 to work in public order.