G4S guard Terrence Hughes told London’s High Court that he could not recall hearing Jimmy Mubenga calling, “I can’t breathe”.
Hughes is one of three G4S guards who accompanied Jimmy during an attempted forced deportation after which Jimmy died.
The guards are now on trial for manslaughter.
Jimmy was a 46 year old refugee from Angola who died after being restrained on a plane at Heathrow airport in October 2010.
Several passengers who witnessed the 30-minute struggle testified earlier in the trial that Jimmy had cried out for help and said he couldn’t breathe.
Hughes told the court that though he did not hear the words they could have been said.
He said it was “extremely difficult” to distinguish between a real medical emergency and a faked one.
He said he thought his behaviour with Jimmy had been “very appropriate”.
The trial continues.