Chapter Seventeen

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 Dear Diary,

Almost as soon as Cheryl had been taken through the reception area, out the door on the left Officer Guthrie appeared through the door on the right. I only got the chance to look at Leo briefly. His face was stony, his brow furrowed. It felt as though he were trying to tell me something. Something he did not want the policeman to hear.

He took hold of my hand and squeezed my fingers.

‘I’ll be right here when you’re done,’ he said.

‘You might not be,’ said Officer Guthrie, now towering above me. ‘Officer Clegg is going to see you separately in a few minutes.’

‘I’ll see Officer Clegg no problem. You just look after my sister. She’s done nothing wrong.’

‘We’ll be the judge of that,’ the policeman replied, nudging my elbow, getting me to stand up.

I gave one last look to Leo as I followed Officer Guthrie out of the reception. He looked back at me with troubled eyes. As the door closed behind me and I walked behind the policeman, along a corridor lined with uninviting doors, I took a deep breath and knew this was one of those moments where I had to be strong.

I needed to focus my mind for a start. It was swimming with a blur of thoughts. The image of the guy bleeding on the ground. His face at the gig. Cheryl just now. My Mum. Do I tell them I saw the man in the lane? Do I lie?

I took a deep breath and tried to concentrate on where I was and what I was doing. Officer Guthrie opened one of the doors and led me into a room. It was mostly empty, apart from a small desk, some papers, a few chairs and a fluorescent light on the ceiling. No windows.

‘Sit down there please,’ he said.

I sat myself down on the rock hard chair.

‘Are you going to ask me questions then?’ I said.

‘We need a statement from you first,’ he said. ‘A written account of that night.’

‘OK,’ I said. ‘That guy, James Taylforth. Is he alright?’

He looked back at me with curiosity.

‘Yes, he’s at home recovering,’ he said.

‘Right,’ I answered, breathing a silent sigh of relief.

At least he wasn’t dead or something. I took heart from that piece of news.

‘Here is where you need to write your statement,’ he said, bending over me and handing me a pen and a sheet of official looking paper. ‘Use this pen and write in capitals. There’s plenty of space. Start from the beginning of the night and go all the way through to the end. Be truthful.’

‘OK,’ I said, staring down at the blank lines all the way down the page.

This is where I had to decide what I would say and what I wouldn’t say. I picked up the pen and started to write. I wrote down what I could remember from the gig. I included the bit where the guy came up to me, I included what I said back to him. The only thing I didn’t include was the part where I saw him on the lane.

There was just no way I was going to grass on Cheryl, Lambert and Jez. Just no way on earth. Plus, the guy was going to be fine. I made my mind up to tell them everything I knew, apart from seeing him bleeding on the ground and Cheryl’s admittance that they had done it. I wasn’t lying, I just wasn’t telling the whole truth. Once I had done he took the paper.

‘Please wait here, I’ll be back once we’ve processed this,’ he said.

‘What? Can I not go now? I’ve written it all down, what more do you need?’ I said.

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