Ian Tomlinson pathologist threw away forensic evidence
26th June 2012
Potentially significant forensic evidence into the death of Ian Tomlinson, the man allegedly killed by a riot policeman during the G20 protests in London, was thrown away because the pathologist who carried out an initial postmortem examination had by then concluded the 47-year-old died of a heart attack, a court has heard.
Dr Freddy Patel, a consultant forensic pathologist, said he took a small sample of bloody fluids found within Tomlinson’s stomach cavity but poured the remaining three litres down a sink at St Pancras mortuary in London on the evening of 3 April 2009.
The smaller sample was itself later mislaid and presumed destroyed, as it was not considered relevant to the cause of death, Patel told Southwark crown court. Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, asked Patel why he did not keep the fluid so it could be tested for signs of internal bleeding.
Patel said: “My impression was that it was more body fluid than blood. Having done my examination and having come to a cause of death in my mind, it was obvious it could not have been three litres of blood.”
However, the jury heard that later postmortems concluded Tomlinson died from internal bleeding caused by a fall after PC Simon Harwood of the Metropolitan police struck him with a baton on the leg and then pushed him over, causing a heavy fall.
- You: Simon Harwood trial: pathologist stands by initial conclusions (guardian.co.uk)
- Officer accused of Ian Tomlinson killing appears in court (guardian.co.uk)
- Pc ‘aggression’ killed Tomlinson (walesonline.co.uk)