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G20 death police made baton query

Police queried whether a baton caused Ian Tomlinson's injuries four days before video showing an officer striking him was made public, an inquest has been told.

The senior detective leading the investigation into the newspaper seller's death during the G20 protests two years ago also questioned whether he was bitten by a dog.

Officers asked the first pathologist who looked at Mr Tomlinson's body to determine whether he was assaulted or crushed by crowds, the hearing heard.

Dr Freddy Patel was initially asked to do a standard post-mortem examination on the 47-year-old newspaper seller after his death during demonstrations in central London on April 1 2009, the inquest heard. But police upgraded this to a more detailed forensic post-mortem and told him broken glass bottles and protesters' sticks were found around his body.

Detective Superintendent Tony Crampton, the City of London Police officer leading the inquiry, attended the post-mortem examination on April 3 and asked Dr Patel about specific marks on the body, in particular what caused a large "tramline" bruise on Mr Tomlinson's left leg.

Alison Hewitt, counsel to the inquest, asked Dr Patel if he recalled being asked whether that injury could have been caused by a baton strike and if he said he could not rule it out but it was more likely down to falling against something.

Dr Patel said: "If I remember correctly, what I said was that, as you say, I can't rule it out, but it's in keeping with contact with or from, against a linear object."

It was not until April 7 that amateur video emerged of Metropolitan Police officer Pc Simon Harwood striking Mr Tomlinson with his baton before shoving him to the ground.

Mr Crampton also asked whether puncture wounds on Mr Tomlinson's right leg might have been caused by a dog bite, the inquest heard.

Dr Patel told the hearing: "I explained to him that they weren't typical of a dog bite. I was told that there were a lot of broken bottles thrown there, so I said it could also have been caused by contact against a rugged sharp object."

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