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Constable charged in vendor's '09 death

May 24, 2011 at 11:37 AM

LONDON, May 24 (UPI) -- A British police officer who allegedly killed a man more than two years ago faces a manslaughter charge because of new evidence in the case, prosecutors said.

Constable Simon Harwood, 43, allegedly struck Ian Tomlinson, 47, with a baton and pushed him to the ground as the newspaper seller was making his way home through a crowd of demonstrators in London in April 2009. Tomlinson collapsed and died 3 minutes later, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Last July, the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said there wasn't sufficient evidence because of complications related to medical findings. But the prosecutor said Tuesday an inquest three weeks ago revealed new information to warrant bringing criminal proceedings.

Inquest jurors had been told there were two possible causes of Tomlinson's death. A first pathologist concluded he died of coronary artery disease but three other forensic pathologists said he died of internal abdominal bleeding.

On May 3, the inquest jury returned a verdict of "unlawful killing."

Harwood is scheduled to appear at a Westminster magistrates court June 20.

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