Tuesday, April 05, 2011

PC Simon Harwood - Lying Bastard

Ian Tomlinson inquest – live updates | UK news | guardian.co.uk

I urge you to read the whole thing, but I've included a couple of key moments below:

Proceedings have finished for today – but not before another significant development.

Questioned by the assistant deputy coroner, Judge Peter Thornton QC, Harwood has accepted that the account of events he put in his notebook two weeks after the protests was incorrect.

These relate to Harwood's explanation of the aftermath of his attempt to arrest a protester for daubing graffiti, when he said he came under attack from hundreds of protesters and was in fear for his life. Video cast doubt over that, and Thornton specifically went through the list.

Harwood: At the time I wrote this, I thought I fell to the floor.
Thornton: Do you now accept that this is not correct?
Harwood: Yes
Thornton: That you lost your baton – that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes
Thornton: That you received a blow to the head – that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes
Thornton: And that there were violent and dangerous confrontations – that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes.
Thornton: And you were struck by a missile – that is not correct?
Harwood: Yes.

Thornton then asked how Harwood got all this wrong when he wrote the statement on 16 April, more than two weeks after the protests.

Harwood said: "Because at the time that is what I believed happened, from the information I had, that is what I believed happened to me there."

Another alleged discrepancy in Harwood's evidence. He said that, when arresting the suspect, the suspect "ran into the door". The footage shows Harwood ahead of the suspect, apparently dragging him.

Ryder: You're ahead of him? But he has run into the door has he?
Harwood: ... I don't know, you'll have to ask him.
Ryder: From the video, can you see him running into the door?
Harwood: He has gone and hit the door, collided with the door, yes.
Ryder: Do you understand the word 'run', PC Harwood?

The exchange goes on in this fashion for several minutes, with Harwood seemingly reluctant to accept that the protester did not actually run into the door.

Ryder suggests the police officer is willing to "be evasive and lie" even when the footage is being played to the court. "We can all see as well, PC Harwood, that is the problem," he states.

The man doing the graffiti was just a few metres from a crowd which, according to Harwood's notebook, had been acting very violently toward a police cordon.

The jury has been shown footage of the carrier Harwood said it had been too difficult to get to. Ryder points out that it was surrounded by other police officers.

The jury is also shown footage of the crowd at the time Harwood said they had been throwing missiles. There were no missiles being thrown in the footage.

Ryder: Is this the point where they are throwing missiles at the cordon?

Harwood: From the footage, it doesn't seem so.

Harwood added that the missiles may have been thrown at another time

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