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> PC Simon Harwood 'not guilty'
Andy Capp
post Jul 19 2012, 10:20 PM
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I wonder what the jury saw that enabled them to find PC Simon Harwood not guilty of manslaughter, despite his aggressive handling of Ian Tomlinson and a previous verdict that Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed?
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Penelope
post Jul 19 2012, 10:27 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jul 19 2012, 11:20 PM) *
I wonder what the jury saw that enabled them to find PC Simon Harwood not guilty of manslaughter, despite his aggressive handling of Ian Tomlinson and a previous verdict that Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed?


Since when has anyone expected any form of justice where bringing the police to book has been concerned?w
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Strafin
post Jul 19 2012, 10:43 PM
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Unbelievable. I would love to hear from the jury themselves.
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Penelope
post Jul 19 2012, 10:50 PM
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The old Masonic brown envelope job.
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Newbelly
post Jul 20 2012, 07:50 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jul 19 2012, 11:20 PM) *
I wonder what the jury saw that enabled them to find PC Simon Harwood not guilty of manslaughter, despite his aggressive handling of Ian Tomlinson and a previous verdict that Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed?


Well, the answer to your question is "the whole evidence" - on which they based their decision, rather than what they read in a newspaper.

I think many are surprised at his acquittal, but we do not know how much the victim's self-inflicted illness played in his sad demise, nor which witnesses were convincing in their evidence and which were not.

Two other points I thought about when I saw the news last night.

1. The last time I was at Southwark CC, I noticed how middle class the jury looked. Parts of London previously considered rough have changed hugely in the last couple of decades and become rather "gentrified". That changes the composition of a jury and their attitude to the police.

2. With the weekly diet of cop shows, there has been a subtle PR campaign taking place by the police, courtesy of the many TV channels that need cheap-to-make programming. Young, brave, polite, dedicated cops are shown protecting us from nasty, violent, foul-mouthed yobs. Only a very few occupations get this continual, free, good PR!

What surprised me about the history of the accused, was the incompetence of the police internal disciplinary system and the way one is able to be circumvent disciplinary matters by moving around.
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NORTHENDER
post Jul 20 2012, 08:22 AM
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As in other cases where ridiculous verdicts are given the jury does not know of the history of the accused. PC Harwood had been disciplined some eight times I think for all-sorts of offences,violence being one of them. I think the jury's should be told myself. The PC from what I can make out was/is nothing but a thug and murderer.
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Newbelly
post Jul 20 2012, 08:29 AM
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QUOTE (NORTHENDER @ Jul 20 2012, 09:22 AM) *
... the jury does not know of the history of the accused. PC Harwood had been disciplined some eight times I think for all-sorts of offences,violence being one of them. I think the jury's should be told myself.


"Bad character" in respect of previous similar behaviour, can be put to the jury with the permission of the judge. I do not know what was allowed in this case.
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Gooner72
post Jul 20 2012, 08:43 AM
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Two things to note here, a criminal court has to be convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that the actions of PC Harwoood caused the death of Ian Tomlinson, this does not now preclude the family of Ian Tomlinson taking out civil action against PC Harwood as civil courts work on the balance of probability. In terms of previous convictions (bad character evidence) the history of the defendant is not disclosed until post verdict to ensure a fair trial. As stated in some cases this can be introduced but only with the consent of the trial judge.
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Newbelly
post Jul 20 2012, 09:01 AM
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QUOTE (Gooner72 @ Jul 20 2012, 09:43 AM) *
In terms of previous convictions (bad character evidence) the history of the defendant is not disclosed until post verdict to ensure a fair trial. As stated in some cases this can be introduced but only with the consent of the trial judge.

To be clear, evidence of bad character is not limited to previous convictions. CJA 2003 goes a lot further than this on what juries may hear about the defendant before they consider their verdict.
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NORTHENDER
post Jul 20 2012, 09:06 AM
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I can understand things not being put before the jury if they were from years before and no violence was involved, but his past offences, and all of them fairly bad, all took place in a relatively short time IE, his police career.
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Newbelly
post Jul 20 2012, 09:13 AM
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QUOTE (NORTHENDER @ Jul 20 2012, 10:06 AM) *
I can understand things not being put before the jury if they were from years before and no violence was involved, but his past offences, and all of them fairly bad, all took place in a relatively short time IE, his police career.


I agree. In the trial of a police officer, I think the Prosecution would be expecting to be able to introduce his disciplinary record!
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dannyboy
post Jul 20 2012, 09:48 AM
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QUOTE (Penelope @ Jul 19 2012, 11:50 PM) *
The old Masonic brown envelope job.

Posting from experience?
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Penelope
post Jul 20 2012, 10:16 AM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jul 20 2012, 10:48 AM) *
Posting from experience?



No, from a phone (thought we had established that?)
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Nothing Much
post Jul 20 2012, 10:27 AM
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On the subject in question. I think no brown envelopes were passed. The PC did have a record.
But so does Mrs Blair. She looks just as much of a handbagger as he does.

I have done jury service twice and it is a total bore waiting to be "an Upstanding " member of the public.
My son got an Old Baily gig. Rejected every time he was called. It might have been the pony tail.

He is paying the price for that now as the bald patch is appearing faster than the ozone hole.
He spent his lunchtime breaks exploring Middle, Inner temples.
ce
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JeffG
post Jul 20 2012, 11:02 AM
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QUOTE (Nothing Much @ Jul 20 2012, 11:27 AM) *
I have done jury service twice and it is a total bore waiting to be "an Upstanding " member of the public.

I did it once (Reading Crown Court) and found it a really interesting experience.
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NORTHENDER
post Jul 20 2012, 11:31 AM
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Two or maybe three years ago I received a summons to appear as a jury member on a certain date. I was quite looking forward to it. A couple of days before the due date I received another letter saying sorry I would not be needed as the town I live in no longer had a crown court and had not done so for three years. It made me smile really.
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dannyboy
post Jul 20 2012, 11:49 AM
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QUOTE (NORTHENDER @ Jul 20 2012, 12:31 PM) *
Two or maybe three years ago I received a summons to appear as a jury member on a certain date. I was quite looking forward to it. A couple of days before the due date I received another letter saying sorry I would not be needed as the town I live in no longer had a crown court and had not done so for three years. It made me smile really.

The result of too much PFI & flogging off of private enterprise what should be done by the state.
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Andy Capp
post Jul 20 2012, 12:04 PM
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I'm not sure his previous is relevant when we have photographic evidence that appears to show PC Simon Harwood attacking Mr Tomlinson. Previous would possibly be important if it was in doubt that PC Simon Harwood attacked Mr Tomlinson.


I think the key points are...

Did the PC Simon Harwood have sufficient grounds to attack Mr Tomlinson? Mr Tomlinson was attacked from behind and appeared to show now threatening behaviour, so I don't think so.

Did the attack cause the death? One doctor didn't think so, but I'm not sure that doctor's evidence was presented to the court. The doctor's view was also in a minority. I think there is mitigation in that Mr Tomlinson's health was not good at the time of the incident and PC Simon Harwood couldn't have known that, but I don't see that as a materially important unless the attack could be proven to be reasonable.

Did PC Simon Harwood attack Mr Tomlinson with sufficient force that Mr Tomlinson couldn't avoid falling over? As he had his hands in his pockets and was walking with his back to the police, I think he did.


Like I said, I'd like to know what other information the jury had to come to a conclusion of not guilty. It is also regrettable that the police's initial report didn't mention PC Simon Harwood's attack on Mr Tomlinson, but reported that the first time they came in contact with Mr Tomlinson was when he collapsed after the event. A clear attempt at a cover-up in my view. The Met also have some share of responsibility in that they employed a person of questionable character in front-line duties.
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On the edge
post Jul 20 2012, 01:39 PM
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This doesn't show any of our criminal justice system in a particularly good light., Arguably, the root cause is bad management, yet again. The individual concerned, by his past record, had clearly demonstrated that he was wholly unsuited to the Police Service. So, should we not calling the Police management into question and particularly the decision makers who effectively created the environment for this to happen. That its gone on for so long without abatement suggests its institutionalised. Sad day for us all.


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Newbelly
post Jul 20 2012, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jul 20 2012, 01:04 PM) *
Did the attack cause the death? One doctor didn't think so, but I'm not sure that doctor's evidence was presented to the court. The doctor's view was also in a minority. I think there is mitigation in that Mr Tomlinson's health was not good at the time of the incident and PC Simon Harwood couldn't have known that, but I don't see that as a materially important unless the attack could be proven to be reasonable.

That is the question. Causation - the relationship between the conduct and the result. If there is doubt, then the jury were right to acquit. Whether or not a charge of assault could have been proven is another matter.




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