Socialist Worker

Ian Tomlinson's death due to ‘blunt force trauma’

Issue No. 2248

The inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper seller who died after being shoved by PC Harwood at G20 demonstrations in April 2009, continued last week.

The inquest heard evidence from Freddy Patel, the coroner who carried out the initial postmortem on Tomlinson’s body on 3 April.

The jury was told on Wednesday of last week that Patel had been suspended by the General Medical Council twice in the last seven years.

Patel found Tomlinson’s death was consistent with natural causes saying he had coronary artery disease.

Three doctors who carried out further postmortem investigations on Tomlinson’s body dispute this finding.

Dr Nat Cary, Dr Kenneth Shorrock and Dr Ben Swift all recorded that Tomlinson died of internal bleeding, possibly from landing on his arm when he was pushed over, which then went into his liver.

In his original statements Patel recorded that he found three litres of “very dark red” “fluid blood” in Tomlinson’s stomach.

One year later he changed his statement to say “fluid with blood”. He said he looked but could not find a cause of internal bleeding.

All samples of the stomach fluid were thrown away, making it impossible for the two following pathologists to analyse the fluid.

Patel did go on to admit that, even if Tomlinson did die of a heart attack, there could be a connection with the contact that Tomlinson had with PC Harwood.

Patel told the inquest, “Trauma can induce a stressful situation—if there is a stressful situation, it is well known that can be a significant contribution to a heart attack.”

Dr Nat Cary told the inquest on Friday of last week that Tomlinson died of “blunt force trauma to the abdomen”.

Dr Cary told Matthew Ryder, the Tomlinson family solicitor, “This is the case where there is really only one realistic possibility.”

Ryder replied, “Which is internal bleeding?”

Cary confirmed, “Which is internal bleeding.”

The inquest continues.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 19 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2248
Share this article



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.