Henry Hicks inquest: Police accused of being ‘economical with the truth’ over changed statements
- Credit: Archant
QC Nicholas Rhodes today accused one of the officers following Henry Hicks on the night of his death of being “economical with the truth,”, after the officer maintained he “did not know” why his initial account of the incident differed from his sworn statement.
Officer C, so called to protect his identity, was the driver of the second car following the 18-year-old. In his initial account of the incident, taken that night, he stated that Henry had “failed to stop for him [the officer driving the first car] when he’s put his lights on”, meaning the two cars would have been classed as officially in pursuit of Henry and therefore would have had to seek authorisation to continue.
However, officer C later claimed in his sworn statement that the incident was not a pursuit as the first car had made no indication for Henry to pull over, and as such no authorisation was needed to continue to follow Henry.
“If a police driver says it’s a pursuit, then it’s a pursuit,” he told the jury today at the Royal Courts of Justice.
“This didn’t fit the criteria to be a pursuit.”
Officer C was also asked to explain why his car had pulled down a side street during the incident, with QC for the Hicks family Nicholas Rhodes suggesting he had done so in order to block the road he believed Henry was heading down, something he had not been authorised to do.
“I was trying to get into a position where if the other vehicle didn’t get close enough to indicate for it [the moped] to stop, I would be in a position to indicate for it to stop,” he said.
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“There is no way I would ever try and block a vehicle. It’s not something I would even consider.”
Earlier this week officer A, the driver of the first car following Henry on the night, gave reasons his initial account had also differed from his later official statement.
In his initial statement officer A, had told a traffic officer he had “signalled for the moped to pull over, and as soon as I put my blue lights on it rode off”.
Yet in his official statement officer A then claimed the incident had not been a pursuit, as Henry was not aware he was being followed by police.
“It was the most traumatic experience of my life,” he said
“All this information was in my mind, and when I spoke to that traffic officer it came out wrong. I was in shock.”
The inquest continues.