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  • "To: Chris 4 Gwent P&CC
    I accept that we are arguing different corners of the same issue and your point regarding the presumption of innocence is taken. However, as is usual, it’s not as simple as that.
    The issue was poisoned by press intervention and the release of crucial evidence before a decision to prosecute was taken and the paradox developed where the video evidence showed everything that happened with the significant exception of the state of mind of P.C. Harwood.
    Everyone saw a violent assault from behind Mr Tomlinson’s back and as a result the guilt was pre-judged. The jury decided that his actions did not amount to manslaughter, but the fact remains that he did assault Mr Tomlinson.
    You refer to Criminal Law procedure in the ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ principle where the maxim of ‘Better ten guilty men go free than one be unjustly condemned’ (Blackstone) and it is a fact that the jury failed to be reasonably convinced of manslaughter under those rules.
    However, a disciplinary hearing based on the terms of employment does not fall under the criminal law blanket, but rather the different rules of Civil Justice, where the ‘Balance of proof’ standard prevails.
    As an arguably serving police officer, P.C. Harwood is subject to both the law of the land and the terms and conditions of his employment, and is answerable to both. He has answered the criminal charge but the civil prosecution is still unresolved. They are two separate matters and should not be confused with the notion of ‘Double Jeopardy’; of course, his police record will form part of the inquiry in contrast to the criminal law process where the record was withheld from the jury to minimise bias.
    The Criminal charge related to the accusation of manslaughter, but the civil inquiry would question his behaviour particularly in how it affects the perception of policing in the eyes of the general public. As everyone has seen his actions and noticed the negative impact on policing that this incident has generated, plus the lower burden of proof, I suspect it will cause him difficulty in justifying his conduct. Under the concept of precedent, an acquittal would be seen as a licence to assault without restraint any person finding themselves in the path of a police officer. Is that really an outcome for the police authority to sensibly arrive at?"
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More thugs IN police...

First published in Letters


SOME years ago we had a traditional “neighbourhood bobby”. This man knew everybody in his territory and, more importantly, they knew him. He also policed the area with the consent and approval of the local population, adults AND youths.

He once confided to my son that there were “more thugs in the police than outside the force”.

PC Simon Harwood was cleared of killing Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests. Initially, he denied even striking Mr Tomlinson, until filmed evidence was provided.

He went on to protest the justification of his brutal actions, even listing the options available, such as Taser, pepper spray etc, even down to actually shooting him.

I don’t suppose it occurred to him to simply ask Mr Tomlinson what he was doing there and advising him to move along for his own safety?

He should be dismissed from the force with loss of pension rights.

Meanwhile, a woman motorist exceeded the speed limit by a paltry five mph and was fined £480.

J Symons, Highfield Road, Newport

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