THE police officer accused of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson said today he now accepts he was “wrong” to have hit and pushed him.
Continuing his evidence at Southwark Crown Court, Pc Simon Harwood said if he had realised Mr Tomlinson was walking away from police lines at the time, he “would not have gone near him”.
Harwood hit Mr Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground during the G20 protests in London in April 2009.
The dad-of-nine walked 75 yards before he collapsed and later died.
Today, Mark Dennis QC asked Harwood: “You do now accept that what you did in relation to Mr Tomlinson was wrong?”
Harwood replied: “Like I said, now I do, but not at the time.
“Now I’ve seen all the evidence and I know how poorly Mr Tomlinson was, I’m sorry I got involved. I shouldn’t have hit him with a baton and pushed him.”
Harwood, 45, from Carshalton in Surrey, denies manslaughter on the grounds that he used reasonable force.
Harwood said he thought Mr Tomlinson was being deliberately obstructive at the time.
Patrick Gibbs QC, for Harwood, asked him: “If you knew then what you know now from looking at the footage, would you have hit him with your baton?”
The officer replied: “I would not have gone near him.”
He also said he would not have pushed Mr Tomlinson if he had known that he was drunk at the time.
Earlier, the court heard he felt “shock” when he saw video footage of his encounter with Mr Tomlinson being shown on television.
He said he felt “shock at the fact that it was on television and the horror of actually thinking it could be me there and what it could lead to”.
Mr Tomlinson’s widow Julia sobbed in the public gallery today, and was comforted by his stepsons.
Mr Dennis asked Harwood: “You have to be aware that the person you are dealing with may, for example, have a frailty?”
He replied: “Yes.”
The trial continues.