Carshalton PC Simon Harwood cleared of manslaughter
A police officer has been cleared of the manslaughter of a newspaper seller at a central London protest.
PC Simon Harwood, from Carshalton, hit Ian Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground ashe prepared to walk away from a line of officers in the City of London in April 2009.
Within minutes the 47-year-old - who had been trying to walk home but found his usual route blocked due to G20 protests that day - collapsed and later died .
Prosecutors had claimed the assault upon Ian Tomlinson was an unnecessary and unreasonable use of force by the defendant that led to his death.
PC Harwood maintained he had used reasonable force and denied manslaughter throughout his trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Harwood told the court that while in retrospect he "got it wrong" in seeing Mr Tomlinson as a potentially threatening obstruction as police cleared a pedestrian passageway, his actions were justifiable within the context of the widespread disorder of that day.
Today a jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
The charges against PC Harwood, a member of the Metropolitan Police's territorial support group, followed an inquest last year which found Mr Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed.