G-20 Man’s Death: 2nd Postmortem Raises More Questions

The earlier revelation that 47 year-old Ian Tomlinson had died of a heart attack at the G-20 meeting in London following assault by a policeman caused quite a ripple when this evidence surfaced in the form of a video taken by a New York fund manager who happened to be at the scene. I had commented then (April 8th) that it would not be surprising that a second postmortem would be ordered.


A Police paramedic attends to Ian Tomlison within minutes of him collapsing (photo courtesy of Daily Mirror,UK)

Well, the second postmortem was indeed performed at the behest of the IPCC and the family of the deceased and the results released yesterday(April 17th). The second postmortem was conducted by Dr Nat Cary, who was able to scrutinise video evidence before conducting his examination. In a statement last night, City of London coroners court said Dr Cary had provisionally concluded that internal bleeding (intra-abdominal hemorrhage) was the cause of Tomlinson’s death, not a heart attack.

This finding has raised several questions:

1. How did the first pathologist(Dr Freddy Patel) who conducted the initial postmortem come to the conclusion that it was a heart attack that killed the victim? It was discovered that Dr Patel had previously been reprimanded by the General Medical Council, the watchdog body for doctors in the UK, over 2 other cases. See here.

2.The second postmortem did not state so far the cause of the internal bleeding. The assault, as seen on the video, appears to be mainly from a baton hit on the victim’s left thigh and not on the torso.


A CT scan of the abdomen, showing a swollen aorta(in white) - an aortic aneurysm - a common cause of bleeding as it tends to leak eventually

Abdominal bleeding is usually due to bursting of the blood vessels of any of the organs within the abdomen, such as the liver, spleen, intestines or even the aorta (the largest artery in the body). The commonest cause for these blood vessels to burst is any kind of trauma, such as road accident injuries, severe falls or assault. It would be fair to say that massive abdominal bleeding arising out of a simple fall is very unusual.

We await further developments in this case. Meanwhile,the Metropolitan police officer suspected of the assault has  been suspended from duty has now been interviewed under caution on suspicion of manslaughter.

See my earlier posting “G-20 Man’s Death Diagnosis Disputed”


2 responses

  1. Hello…

    You know a third post-mortem examination may be carried out but in Malaysia, the Kugan case is still unclear.


  2. Dear Doc,

    “Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi”

    At times, for an already weakened man, you cannot even afford the slightest hit, especially from those ‘well trained’ security personnel. A small punch can even be lethal. Well the truth may not even surface until much later.

    Feeling very sad for the family of Ian, also for the family security personnel, for their life being turned upside down by the incident.


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