Simon Harwood, the police officer cleared of killing Ian Tomlinson, is sacked after being found guilty by a disciplinary panel of gross misconduct for discreditable conduct and use of force.
PC Simon Harwood, 45, admitted that he used unnecessary force when he hit the newspaper seller with his baton and shoved him to the ground during the G20 protests near the Royal Exchange Buildings in the City of London in April 2009.
He also accepted that his actions and the way they were reported had brought discredit on the Metropolitan police, and that this amounted to gross misconduct.
On Monday, a police panel found that he had breached standards over discreditable conduct, use of force and authority, respect and courtesy, and that this should be counted as gross misconduct.
Patrick Gibbs QC, for PC Harwood, told the hearing the officer accepted that it was “impossible for him ever again to be employed as a police officer”.
The panel, consisting of two police officers and a lay member, decided not to consider an allegation that Harwood’s actions inadvertently caused or contributed to 47-year-old Mr Tomlinson’s death.
Mr Tomlinson, an alcoholic who had lived rough for several years, managed to walk 75 yards after he was hit and pushed, but collapsed and later died from internal injuries.
The hearing was told that Harwood had twice offered to resign from the Met in the wake of the death, because he thought it was “the right thing to do”.
Mr Gibbs said: “He has described again and again the huge gap between what he understood at the time and thought he was doing at the time, and what he now realises was the case.
“He had no way of knowing at the time what Mr Tomlinson’s level of intoxication was and all of the medical difficulties before that time.”
The father of nine’s widow, Julia, and his two stepsons walked out of the hearing room saying “whitewash” as Mr Gibbs addressed the panel.
Harwood, from Carshalton in Surrey, has already been acquitted of Mr Tomlinson’s manslaughter, although an inquest found Tomlinson was unlawfully killed.
This is the first time that a police disciplinary hearing has been held in public by the Met.
Earlier, Mr Gibbs told the panel: “PC Harwood does indeed accept that the discredit which his actions, and the way in which they have been reported, has brought upon the Metropolitan Police Service amounts to gross misconduct. He has twice offered his resignation to the commissioner.”
He said that, with the benefit of hindsight, Harwood would have used “no force at all” if he had known about the state of Mr Tomlinson’s health.
Mr Gibbs said: “If he had known then what he now knows about the circumstances, everybody’s movements and Mr Tomlinson’s health, he would have used no force, let alone the force that he did use.”
Simon Harwood has a controversial police disciplinary record, but this was not considered as part of the hearing because the accusations are more than two years old.
A number of allegations were made against Harwood over a 12-year period, and he was allowed to retire from the Met on medical grounds in 2001 despite unresolved disciplinary proceedings.
He was accused of unlawful arrest, abuse of authority and discreditable conduct over an incident when he allegedly shouted at another driver and knocked him over his car door, before announcing that he was a police officer and arresting the motorist on a common assault charge. But proceedings were discontinued when he retired.
Later, Harwood rejoined the force as a civilian worker before becoming a police officer for Surrey. He was then allowed to rejoin the Met in 2004 as part of its territorial support group (TSG), specialising in public order.
After he was acquitted of manslaughter, police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission said his case raised “grave concerns” about Met vetting procedures.
The force admitted that proper checks had not been made, but said processes had since changed.