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Henry Wharton: ‘No one else involved’
INJURED boxing champion Henry Wharton has told for the first time of the incident that left him seriously injured in hospital – and has claimed he was NOT attacked.
Police say the former world-title challenger, 44, sustained potentially life-changing injuries in an attack that could have killed him.
But speaking from his hospital bed last night, Mr Wharton claimed nobody else was involved in the incident in Murton Lane. He told The Press he suffered the injuries in a game of football.
He dismissed rumours he had been struck by a car and attacked with a machete after attempting to intervene in a pre-arranged bare knuckle fight involving members of the travelling community, though police rejected his claims and said their investigation was ongoing. Six people have now been arrested.
Mr Wharton said: “I would like to clarify that this was an accident – nobody else was involved. It is very different to what people have been hearing and I want to put a stop to the panic.
“I cannot remember a lot of it. I was playing a game of football and I was running past a car when I caught my leg on a bumper and tripped and fell.
“There was nothing malicious about it at all. Nobody else was responsible. I have got a broken ankle and a laceration to the head, but nothing worse than that.”
He asked The Press to thank those who had voiced their support, and said: “I am recovering well and hope to be out of hospital in a few days and back on my feet in two to three weeks.”
Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Costello, of North Yorkshire Police, disputed Mr Wharton’s claims.
He said: “We understand that the victim does not wish to make a complaint and he has indicated that the events leading to him sustaining what could be life changing injuries could have been accidental.
“However, we have reason to believe that he did not sustain his injuries accidentally and maintain that he was subjected to a serious assault.”
He said the incident remained “very much under investigation”.
Arrests on Wednesday night in Doncaster and yesterday afternoon in York have taken the total arrested to six. They are men aged 23, 28, 30, 35 and 44, and a woman aged 26.
Det Ch Insp Costello is still seeking further suspects and asked anyone with information to phone police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.