Ian Tomlinson investigation whitewash

by scotslawstudent

What already was one of the most ridiculously obvious cases of systemic governmental wagon circling we’ve seen in recent years got even more ridiculous this week.

The police officer who shoved Ian Tomlinson to the ground minutes before his death has escaped any responsibility for his actions. This is despite widespread public outrage, a video of the event, three post-mortems and a 15 month long investigation by the CPS. It’s nice that the government are spending so much taxpayer money on this but they really shouldn’t have bothered – we’ve not seen any return on it. The Guardian has uncovered more evidence than they have.

The decision by the CPS not to do anything about the attack is pretty rotten, to say the least, because they say that they have investigated the evidence and there is no hope of proving the manslaughter case beyond reasonable doubt. Fair enough, some people say, but we’ve got a video of him being shoved to the ground – what about trying him for assault? No, say the CPS, because the 6 month time bar for that charge has passed. Lots of people say, why didn’t the CPS bring the assault charge within the 6 month limit then? Because, say the CPS, they couldn’t because of an ongoing investigation into the incident… by the CPS.

If the CPS are mentioned a lot in that paragraph it’s because they’ve been instrumental in making this tragedy into the farce it now is.

The family of Ian Tomlinson are now collecting money to do it themselves. In the monumentally unlikely event that they are allowed to have a private (not public) prosecution (it would very possibly be the only one we will see in our lifetimes – there have only ever been two in Scotland and they’re not much more common down south) they would present their evidence to a jury instead. It will be horrendously expensive for them, it’s possibly the most expensive court action there is, and it seems to be the only way it will ever get to a trial.

The authorities have done a poor job with this case and if they really have to mess it up the very least they should expect is to have to resign when they get called on how badly their mess stinks.