Justice needs to be seen to be done – how many times have I heard that saying. Yet when it comes to the police it seems there is one rule for us and another for them. I refer to the decision by the DPP that there will be no prosecution for manslaughter of the policeman who assaulted Ian Tomlinson just before he died at the G20 demonstration. Ian Tomlinson was not in any way involved in the demonstration. He was on his way home from his job as a newspaper salesman when he became involved. Not only was he bitten by a police dog, he was struck down by a policeman with an expandable baton, and then pushed to the ground by the same officer. All of this was filmed.
The Guardian quotes Brian Paddick, a former top Scotland Yard officer, who said the decision not to bring charges risked damaging public confidence in British justice. "The public saw what appears to be an unprovoked attack and the law being unable to bring that officer to account," he said. "It damages the entire criminal justice system, from the police through to the CPS. "They could have summonsed for common assault within the six months' time limit and carried on their inquiries into the manslaughter charge."
It has taken the DPP 16 months to come to their conclusions and they would have been well aware that a lesser charge of common assault could only be pressed within six months. It does appear, that apart from possible disciplinary proceedings, the police officer involved will not face prosecution. I believe the whole thing to be totally unacceptable and a disgrace to British Justice. One can only sympathise with the Tomlinson family.