‘WE DEMAND A FULL INVESTIGATION!’ – says Ian Tomlinson’s widow

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The Tomlinson family arriving for the vigil with solicitor JULES CAREY (left)
The Tomlinson family arriving for the vigil with solicitor JULES CAREY (left)

‘we are holding this special vigil because it has been a long eight months,’ Julia Tomlinson, the widow of Ian Tomlinson told over 200 friends and supporters on Tuesday evening.

She was addressing a candlelight vigil outside the Royal Exchange, just opposite Cornhill in the City of London.

[kP,[zU$t Tomlinson died at Cornhill when going home from work during the April 1st G20 demonstrations after appearing to be struck by a police baton.

She continued: ‘The family faces their first Christmas without Ian.

‘He was a friendly and caring person whose heart was as good as gold.

‘Ian was always part of the family.

‘We all remember him as a brilliant dad.

‘There were good and bad times but there would have been a lot more good times if he wasn’t taken from us.

‘We don’t think anyone should have to die like he did.

‘He deserves justice. We are a strong family but we feel we are up against a lot.

‘We want a full investigation. It’s not a lot to ask, and we will not give up until we get it.

‘Thank you all for being here, the support has been great.’

Pointing to the rest of the family present, Paul King, Ian Tomlinson’s stepson, said: ‘It’s been eight months since they lost their dad.

‘It’s been such a roller coaster. We’ve been through so much.

‘At Christmas we always spent time together around the table.

‘We don’t now how we will do it without Ian laughing and joking.

‘Nothing can replace Ian, he worked around here.’

After reading out a message of support from London Mayor Boris Johnson, Paul continued: ‘All we want now is justice for our dad, Ian Tomlinson, king of the hill.’

Introducing the speakers, Estelle of Newham Monitoring Project, said: ‘Because of the way Ian died there are many things that need to be said.’

Addressing her remarks to the family, she continued: ‘To lose someone in the way you did and to come here takes a lot.

‘The policing of the G20 shocked a lot of people.

‘You only had to look at G20 to see that someone was going to get hurt.

‘The public and the family came forward. We know it is difficult to have faith in an organisation that is investigating itself.

‘We’ve all seen the situation when someone dies in police custody.

‘Your support is the public being behind you and that support is here tonight.’

Sam Rigg-Davis, the sister of Sean Rigg who died in Brixton police station, told the vigil: ‘There is a long history of deaths in police custody.

‘Your dad died in public. Our brother died behind closed doors.

‘It’s important you keep fighting.

‘We have a small understanding of what it’s like to lose your dad in that way.’

Deborah Cole, of legal charity Inquest, said: ‘We offer our solidarity.

‘As an organisation that works with families of those that died in police custody, we know it’s a long struggle.

‘I hope what will happen here is that truth will prevail, that those responsible will be prosecuted.

‘No police officer has been prosecuted over a death in custody.

‘We hope here that the police will be prosecuted.’

Solicitor Jules Carey told the vigil: ‘I was introduced to Ian through a series of photos that appeared after his death, as I’m the family solicitor.

‘This vigil is important to know Ian better.

‘It’s important to get to the truth.

‘On Wednesday 1st April, stories appeared that a man had collapsed.

‘Police said that they were impeded by people throwing stones at them.

‘On Thursday 2nd April, witnesses said this was rubbish and denied police reports of missiles thrown at them.

‘On Friday 3rd April there were reports about Ian’s health.

‘On Saturday 4th, police said he died of natural causes, of a heart attack.

‘None of the family were told of bruises or a dog bite.

‘But on Wednesday 8th April a New York financial trader released the video footage we are now familiar with that showed Ian was knocked down.’

He added: ‘The biggest battle for the family is to keep fighting, to keep going.

‘The family have made a complaint, not just about what is on the video but about false reports.

‘The Crown Prosecution Service says charges are likely to be decided by the end of this month.’

Vivian Figuierdo addressed her remarks to the family: ‘We are with you. I am a cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes who died after being shot by police at Stockwell Tube station.

‘We wanted to be here to bring you a message.

‘When Jean died in 2005, it changed our lives forever.

‘We felt the eyes of the world were looking at us.

‘Like you, we just wanted to know the truth of what happened.

‘We felt there was a cover-up and we felt a small family could do nothing but we are still here.

‘For something as big as this you grow stronger, the love and the anger makes you stronger and because you have people that believe in you.

‘I want to let you know, never give up hope.

‘We know our loved ones are gone forever but we care about them and people support you.’

Hayes and Harlington Labour MP John McDonnell told the gathering: ‘I remember 25 years ago we had a similar experience in my constituency.

‘Blair Peach died from such an assault and no one was ever brought to justice.

‘Lessons have not been learned.

‘We repeat a demand for the truth.

‘The family needs to know the truth but we all need to know the truth so lessons can be learned.

‘I salute the family for the dignity they have shown.

‘I hope we know the truth so we can prevent anything like this ever happening again.’

Richard King, Ian Tomlinson’s son said: ‘We thank everyone for turning up today, for the support we need for getting through.

‘It’s hard being here because of what happened over the road.

‘If Ian was here he would be overwhelmed.

‘We really appreciate your support.

‘We know the next few weeks will be really hard, so we hope you show your support to the end.’

Marcia Rigg, Sean Rigg’s sister told news Line before the speeches: ‘We’re here to support the Tomlinson family because they went through the struggle of losing a loved one at the hands of the police.

‘We’re here to give solidarity in their pursuance of justice.

‘In Sean’s case, we are still waiting for the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s report, 14 months later they are still investigating.

Artist Sophie Jones said: ‘I’m here to commemorate Ian Tomlinson’s unlawful death at the hands of the police.

‘What happened shows the police’s brutality. The police should not be so heavy handed on demonstrations when people have the right in a democratic society.

‘There shouldn’t be kettling because it’s too dangerous and inflammatory.

‘The person who killed Ian Tomlinson should be sent to prison.’