PC Adam MacDonald repeatedly told a disciplinary panel any mistakes he had made during a probe into his actions had been genuine errors.
His words came as an expert witness backed the PC’s decision to punch a suspect during an arrest in the fast lane of the M62 .
Day three of PC MacDonald’s misconduct hearing saw the officer grilled for the best part of four hours.
David Tinkler, representing the police, pinpointed inconsistencies in his reasons for punching Michael Fisher and the following failure to disclose CCTV of the scuffle.
The accused officer was asked why his initial statement about the arrest did not match one given a year later as misconduct enquiries were launched into his actions – and after he had seen newly found CCTV.
Initially, it was heard the PC feared Mr Fisher had used his legs to knock PC Graham Clayton, a now retired Cheshire Police officer, to the ground during the arrest.
But after reviewing the CCTV he accepted he had not actually seen this, stating instead he “perceived the Cheshire officer [PC Clayton] was thrown by Mr Fisher’s legs.”
Asked if, on reflection, he made a mistake in his initial statement, PC MacDonald said: “The whole report was based on my honest belief.”
Questioned why the PC’s “honest belief” had changed he added: “It’s hard to recall every detail about what happened, you are dealing with such a dangerous environment, a dangerous individual who has already used his vehicle as a weapon and you are trying to pinpoint on small details.”
He added: “ Any information I have given was always honest. It was about an environment that was very dangerous and Mr Fisher’s behaviour on that night was very dangerous and I believe it was our actions that allow him to be here today.”
Initial enquiries by Merseyside Police’ professional standards department struggled to locate PC Clayton as they looked into the PC McDonald’s claims.
When PC MacDonald was told this he responded by saying: “Even without him I still think that the use of force was reasonable”.
This was backed up at the end of the day by expert witness Eric Baskind, who is involved in training officers and assessing when force can be justified during police incidents.
Mr Baskind told the panel he believed PC MacDonald’s decision to punch Mr Fisher – who denies resisting arrest – could be justified as a way of ending what was a dangerous situation.
He added this could still be the case, in his view, even if PC MacDonald had not believed PC Clayton had been knocked to the ground by Mr Fisher.