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Ian Tomlinson died from internal bleeding, says third pathologist

Inquest told Tomlinson’s death was caused by bleeding after he was struck with a baton and shoved to the ground by police

A forensic pathologist has told an inquest that the only plausible explanation for the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests was internal bleeding from an injured liver.

Dr Kenneth Shorrock, who was instructed by the Metropolitan Police after one of its officers was shown on film shoving Tomlinson to the ground, said the injury to the organ was “consistent” with the footage.

Pic: Ian

Shorrock is one of three forensic pathologists who concluded that Tomlinson died as a result of internal bleeding in the abdomen, minutes after being struck with a baton and pushed to the ground by PC Simon Harwood at the G20 demonstration in April 2009.

They all disagree with evidence presented by a fourth pathologist, Dr Freddy Patel, who has maintained that the newspaper seller died of a spontaneous arrhythmic heart attack.

Patel was forced to significantly alter his evidence on Monday after it emerged that readings taken from a defibrillator that paramedics attached to Tomlinson after his collapse were inconsistent with that kind of heart attack.

Shorrock took issue with a number of findings by Patel, who has been removed from the Home Office register of experts and is currently suspended for failings in cases unrelated to Tomlinson’s death.

Patel said the damage to the 47-year-old’s liver was relatively minor, and suggested it would not have caused a major bleed. Shorrock said the injury was “significant”.

“To say it was relatively minor, the context of how it was said, almost appeared to trivialise it, and I felt this wasn’t a trivial injury, this was something to take notice of,” he said.

Matthew Ryder QC, counsel for Tomlinson’s family, asked Shorrock if the video footage was “consistent” with a trauma to the right side of the body that would have caused abdominal bleeding. The pathologist replied: “It is consistent, yes.”

Ryder then asked: “Did you see anything else that could have caused intra-abdominal bleeding in the video or any other evidence you have seen?” Shorrock replied: “No, I didn’t.”

Another witness, Professor Robin Williamson, a consultant, said he concurred with the “internal bleeding” explanation of Tomlinson’s death.

“One cannot rule out coronary artery disease, perhaps acute coronary syndrome, and he was a smoker,” he said. “But there is precious little evidence in support.”

The final evidence for the inquest will be heard on Thursday.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/19/ian-tomlinson-inquest-pathologist