Saturday, 18 April 2009

Tomlinson's death NOT a heart attack?

A second autopsy suggests that Iain Tomlinson's death during the G20 protests was NOT caused by a heart attack, as originally thought. Instead, it seems to have been caused by abdominal bleeding:
... a fresh post-mortem examination has found he died of abdominal bleeding, not a heart attack, as first thought.

Lawyers for the family said the new post-mortem test raised the likelihood of a manslaughter charge.

In its statement, the Coroner's Court said the inquest had looked at the first post-mortem examination carried out after Mr Tomlinson collapsed and died on the evening of 1 April.

That examination, carried out by Dr Freddy Patel, concluded Mr Tomlinson had diseased heart and liver and a substantial amount of blood in the abdominal cavity.

"His provisional interpretation of his findings was that the cause of death was coronary artery disease," said the statement.

"A subsequent post-mortem examination was conducted by another consultant forensic pathologist, Dr Nat Cary, instructed by the IPCC and by solicitors acting for the family of the late Mr Tomlinson.

"Dr Cary's opinion is that the cause of death was abdominal haemorrhage. The cause of the haemorrhage remains to be ascertained.

"Dr Cary accepts that there is evidence of coronary atherosclerosis but states that in his opinion its nature and extent is unlikely to have contributed to the cause of death."

The statement concluded that both the opinions remained provisional and subject to further investigations and tests. (1)

I've emphasised the last line as I want to be clear this is not conclusive yet. I don't automatically assume that the police are wrong or villianous in every case, though I suppose the indymedia / anarchist goons will be shrilling about 'state sanctioned murder' or something. We'll see. Lets get the evicencce, and if it stands up, nail the bastard who killed Tomlinson to the wall.

On the subject of evidence, the pathologist who performed the first - now suspect - post mortem, has delivered questionable decisions before:

Dr Patel, who is on a Home Office register of accredited forensic pathologists, has had his handling of suspicious deaths questioned twice.

He was reprimanded about his professional conduct by the General Medical Council in 1999 after he released medical details of 30-year-old Roger Sylvester, a black man who died in police custody.

Dr Patel told reporters outside an inquest: "I am aware from the medical records held at Whittington hospital that Mr Sylvester was a user of crack cocaine."

Sylvester's distraught family disputed the allegation.

When asked about the reprimand last week, Dr Patel said: "That is right. It happened a long time ago."

In another case in 2002, Dr Patel concluded that Sally White, 38, died of natural causes from heart disease. Her body was discovered in a house belonging to Anthony Hardy, a 52-year-old mentally disturbed alcoholic, in Camden, London. Hardy later killed Elizabeth Valad, 29, and Brigette MacClennan, 34.

White's death had been treated as suspicious until Dr Patel's findings. (2)

Again, in iteslf, this proves nothing, but it is starting to look very bad for the police officer who struck Mr Tomlinson, and for the Met in general. Again.

1 - "G20 officer quizzed over death," unattributed BBC article, 17th of April, 2009. (
2 - "Tomlinson Pathologist's Decisions Questioned," by Amy Fallon, published in The Independent, 18th of April, 2009. (

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