From Blair Peach to Ian Tomlinson.

Blair Peach: police to release secret report


It has now been over one year since the tragic death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in the City of London on 1 April. While we appreciate a fair and thorough investigation takes time, Ian’s grieving family has been left in limbo for a year waiting for a full explanation about the circumstances of his death as we have learned with Blair Peach, the anti-fascist campaigner widely believed to have been killed by police in 1979, there is no justice. A highly critical report into the death of Blair Peach, the anti-fascist campaigner widely believed to have been killed by police in 1979, is expected to be published on Tuesday.

Some 2,000 pages of documents will be released, including a previously secret police report. Peach, a 33-year-old teacher from New Zealand, died after being struck on the head at a demonstration against the National Front in Southall, west London. Witnesses said they saw him being attacked by police, but after an internal investigation no officers were charged.

It is understood the report has been redacted to protect the identities of individual officers. However, most interest is expected to focus on a report by commander John Cass, the Metropolitan police officer who investigated the death.

The Met agreed to release the report after Ian Tomlinson, a passerby at the G20 protests in London, died of internal bleeding last year after being attacked by a police officer. The incident, caught on film obtained by the Guardian, prompted comparisons with the Peach case.

At the April 1979 demonstration, more than 40 people, including 21 police, were injured and 300 were arrested. A pathologist report said Peach died from injuries likely to have been caused by a lead-weighted rubber cosh or hosepipe filled with lead shot. When officers’ lockers were raided, unauthorised weapons including a metal cosh were found, but this was ruled out as the weapon that killed Peach.

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