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English pathologist revises post-mortem

April 13, 2011 at 7:43 PM

LONDON, April 13 (UPI) -- A pathologist who ruled a man died of natural causes during protests in London revised his report after it was disputed by other experts, authorities say.

Police requested this week's inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson by Dr. Freddy Patel to determine whether the man was injured or assaulted during the Group of 20 London protests April 1, 2009, Britain's Sky News reported Wednesday.

At the inquest, Patel testified he had ruled Tomlinson's death was due to natural causes because the man had coronary artery disease and could have died at any time.

The Daily Mail reported Patel also said tests showed Tomlinson's blood-alcohol level was 5 1/2 times above the legal limit for driving when he died while making his way home from his newspaper-selling job.

But photos showed Metropolitan Police officer Simon Harwood hitting Tomlinson, 47, with a baton and shoving him from behind to the ground, prompting two other pathologists to conduct their own post-mortem examinations. They found the immediate cause of death was internal bleeding and disputed Patel's initial finding Tomlinson died of natural causes.

Patel then wrote a revised post-mortem report, changing his conclusion to clarify a large quantity of fluid discovered in Tomlinson's abdomen was not pure blood but a mixture of blood and a fluid produced as a byproduct of liver disease, Sky News reported.

Testifying at the inquest as to why he changed his report, he said: "Because the issue arose on the cause of death and it appeared to me that other experts have misinterpreted what I was trying to convey in my report."

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