Saturday, April 18, 2009


The Guardian front page says that the policeman who struck Ian Tomlinson may be charged with manslaughter. Mmm. Is there a hope in hell he will be convicted of manslaughter? The blow he struck was unprovoked, and pretty nasty, but in all fairness I don't see how he could reasonably have anticipated that it would lead to Tomlinson's death. It would be different if he had forcibly struck Tomlinson on the head with his truncheon (as apparently happened at Bishopsgate). Is he going to be charged with the most serious offence with which he could be charged on the expectation that there will be a much lesser chance of a guilty verdict? That's how it looks to me. He deserves to lose his job; and he ought to be charged with a lesser offence. But manslaughter? He will be suspended on full pay while the trial takes place; he will be acquitted; he will return to duty a canteen hero; and after a while it will all be forgotten. I think that's what the police call a "result" It smells a bit fishy to me.


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