Policeman told Hillsborough inquest jurors he did not know statement had been altered

Hillsborough disaster
Hillsborough disaster
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A policeman at the Hills-borough disaster said if he knew his statement had been altered he would never have signed it.

Retired PC Robert Washington – who was behind the Leppings Lane turnstiles on the day of the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium – said he had not realised a line from his original statement, in which he said more officers had been needed, had been removed

In his original statement Mr Washington described the situation behind the turnstiles as the crush outside developed.

He had written: “I feel at least two further serials should have been deployed in the area.”

Ninety-six Liverpool FC fans died after being crushed on the terrace at the stadium on April 15, 1989.

Jurors at new inquests into their deaths were shown a copy of Mr Washington’s statement, which had been inputted on a police computer system, in which the sentence was crossed out.

The line did not appear in later versions of the statement.

Mr Washington said: “On my return to a day shift I was told someone was looking for me and it was a plain clothes officer, I’m not sure whether it was South Yorkshire or West Midlands.

“He introduced himself as being from the Hillsborough inquiry and he’d got a statement for me to sign.

“I could see it was a printout from the computer and I was told it needed signing, that all statements had been, all police statements had been via the force solicitor and anything inadmissible, or something like that, had been removed from statements.”

He said he was not told anything had been removed.

Asked what he would have done if he had known, he said: “I would have refused to sign it.”