Ian Tomlinson: lawyers challenge CPS over decision not to prosecute

originally published by:
The Guardian
22nd July 2010

The Crown Prosecution Service’s decision that no charges will be brought in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson has been challenged by lawyers, who argue it shows a disparity in how the criminal justice system treats police officers and members of the public.

There are concerns that the CPS’s decision that there is “no realistic prospect” of a conviction against the officer who was filmed during last year’s G20 protests striking the newspaper seller, who later died, reflects a reluctance to charge police officers and demonstrates the impunity of the police.

Today’s findings have been compared with the case of Blair Peach, an anti-facist protester whose death was one of the most controversial events in modern policing history.

“This decision highlights that there has been no change since the 1970s when no officer was charged in relation to the death of Peach,” said Sarah McSherry, a partner at Christian Khan Solicitors. “The news is as unsurprising as it is disappointing.”

She said: “I am not aware of any case involving an ordinary member of the public in which the CPS took over one year instructing numerous experts to test the evidence before deciding on whether or not to prosecute.

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