Notices
Closed Thread
Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst ... 4567 LastLast
Results 151 to 180 of 186

Thread: Justice

  1. #151  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Justice, finally: a Hillsborough survivor’s story
    Adrian Tempany was at Hillsborough in 1989. Last week he was in Warrington to see the inquest jury deliver its verdict, and a community’s struggle against injustice finally win out

    Part one

    After 27 years, justice came in a few short moments. At just after 11am last Tuesday, Sir John Goldring took his seat in a specially converted courtroom in Warrington, to silence. There was no preamble from the coroner today; not even a perfunctory greeting. As the microphone sputtered to life, the most controversial inquests in British history were about to come to an end. After two years, and nearly 300 days of evidence, from almost 1,000 witnesses, everything would rest on 14 questions – and on six women and three men from Warrington. The jury had given up two years of their lives to resolve this most bitter of disputes. Now, they were restricted to uttering a few simple words in response to the coroner. “Yes,” “No,” or “It is”. But with those four words, they would rewrite history.

    A few hundred yards from court, across the Birchwood industrial park, in building 401, I was one of 200 people – survivors, the bereaved, and other campaigners – who filed into an annexe to watch a stream of the verdict, broadcast live. As we waited, quietly, a member of the inquest secretariat arrived to inform us that the annexe was technically a part of the courtroom itself: we should therefore show no emotion as the jury’s determinations were announced. We ask you to be quiet and dignified, she said. A few seats along from me, Damian Kavanagh, a friend and fellow survivor, muttered: “We’ve been dignified for 27 years.”

    Eventually, the camera wobbled into focus, and the face of Sir John Goldring appeared. Unseen, off camera, the forewoman confirmed that the jury had arrived at its determinations to all 14 questions. Within moments, the debate over Hillsborough would be settled, once and for all. Here it was, in front of us on a TV screen – justice, finally. Like an intravenous drip – delivered drop by drop.

    I was 19 when I went to Hillsborough, to watch my team play an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. A man, but in many respects still a boy; crushed to the brink of death behind the steel-mesh fence of pen 3. Many of the 96 died within feet of me. I survived, but, unable to move any part of my body from the neck down in the crush, I could do no more for these people than watch them die. I owed it to them to witness their final moments, to bear testimony; but I never thought I would live to see this day.

    I am sitting with my girlfriend, Deb, who was my girlfriend that day, and has seen me through years of anxiety, and anger. In the seats beside and in front of me are other survivors. Damian survived the crush in pen 4, aged 20. He had obtained a ticket for the game for his friend, David Rimmer, who died in the same pen. Tim Knowles was a 17-year-old A-level student, one of 10 friends from Formby who had gone to the match; only seven came back alive. Mike Bracken found himself crushed outside the ground, before entering through an exit gate. After buying a drink to recover, he was horrified to find thousands more fans converging on the tunnel to the already packed central pens. With no police officers deployed to seal the tunnel, Mike briefly tried to steer them away. But he was a 20-year-old fan in a jumper and jeans. There were no police there, the fans reasoned: so what could be the problem?

    I am sitting down but my knees give way. Tears are falling either side of my nose.
    Nick Braley is an Ipswich fan. In 1989, aged 19, he was a student at Sheffield Poly, excited to be going to an FA Cup semi-final, even as a neutral. He was crushed towards the front of pen 3 and survived through the luck of being turned side-on to the fence. He was traumatised for years. The West Midlands officers who took his statement, which was critical of the policing, dismissed him as “a left-wing agitator”.

    Richie Greaves was 23 when he was caught in one of the worst-affected parts of pen 3. He gave evidence to the first inquests, and came back to tell the same truth in Warrington. His wife, Lou, sits beside Deb: “Don’t forget to keep breathing,” Lou says, squeezing Deb’s arm gently. She is desperate to get her husband back.

    Now, the jury begin. Their answers to the first five questions – on the multiple failures in police planning and in the police operation on the day – are resolved quickly. A formality. But all hinges on questions 6 and 7.

    Q6: “Are you satisfied, so that you are sure, that those who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed? Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”

    We sit here not just as survivors, but as some of the accused. From the moment the inquests began, in March 2014, lawyers for the former match commanders at Hillsborough, led by John Beggs QC, have thrown vicious allegations on their behalf: that we were drunk, without tickets, badly behaved, aggressive and non-compliant. We sit quietly, and wonder if the jury has seen through their bile. It will not be easy: over three decades, we have been described as “animalistic” (Chief Constable Peter Wright), “tanked-up yobs” (Margaret Thatcher’s press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham), and – quite simply – as “mental” (Paul Middup, Police Federation rep). Much of the public held us to be the people who ********** on brave coppers, or attacked them as they gave the kiss of life to stricken victims – all this while we were busy robbing the dead.

    These allegations, of course, were mostly carried in the Sun’s infamous front-page story of 19 April 1989, under the headline The Truth. It was Kelvin MacKenzie’s final choice as a banner headline; the first he had considered was: “You Scum”.

    A cross-section of the scum are here today. Damian has spent his career as a pensions administrator. Tim is a newspaper sub-editor. Nick is an accountant. Richie runs his own courier firm. Mike is a digital executive and a CBE. I am an author and journalist. All of us, just your average football fans of the 1980s.

    Now the coroner reads out Q6 to the forewoman, still unseen. “Are you satisfied, so that you are sure, that those who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed? Is your answer yes?”

    The forewoman’s voice is calm and reassuring, and wears lightly the huge responsibility. With the faintest trace of a lisp, she says: “Yes.”


    People scream, and jump to their feet. Mike’s head begins to tremble in his hands. Richie turns towards me and punches the air. I turn slowly to Deb with tears in my eyes, and she smiles and rubs my back.

    Then the moment is gone. For the coroner is on to Q7: “Was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles?”

    This is not just a question of truth now: people’s lives are in the balance. To be unfairly blamed for killing people is an insult so grievous as to seriously disturb the mind. I know of one survivor, “Ian”, who lost a friend in pen 3. In 2007, Ian became upset about the controversy generated by the appearance of Kelvin MacKenzie on Newsnight, and a few weeks later he hanged himself. There was Stephen Whittle, who gave his match ticket to a friend, who died. In February 2011, Stephen stepped in front of an express train. Two of my mates who survived pen 3 have tried to kill themselves; both, mercifully, survived. But we know that if this next question goes against us, people will almost certainly take their own lives. The jury cannot know this, of course. I look around at Deb, at Richie, at Damian and Lou. No one looks at me.

    The coroner: “Was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Is your answer No?”

    “It is.”

    People leap to their feet and punch the air. But again, momentary relief, for we are only halfway there. Now, having answered No, the jury are asked a supplementary question: was there any behaviour on the part of supporters that may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? That “may” sets the threshold so low, we fear the jury are practically being urged to find against us. As Tim Knowles said over an anguished pint a few months ago: “What kind of question is ‘May have?’ I might be found responsible for killing my friends on the basis of a vague, theoretical possibility.”
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 24-9-16 at 03:20.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  2. #152  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Part two

    On 15 April 1989, I walked into Hillsborough. An hour later I am caught somewhere between this life and the next
    But there is nothing vague about will happen to us: we will be vilified once more – for ever more – by the rightwing media and the police. We will be, for the first time in an official hearing, found culpable in killing our fellow fans. It is not the jury’s fault: they have been bounced into this. But people will die on a Yes, they may have…

    The coroner: “Was there any behaviour on the part of supporters that may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Is your answer No?”

    I am sitting down but my knees give way. Tears are falling either side of my nose. The woman with the reassuring voice says “It is.”

    And the place erupts.

    Compression asphyxia. Ninety-three times it is recorded that afternoon as the cause of death at Hillsborough. It is definitive, but it offers only a glimpse into how our supporters died, or how extensive were the failings of the police and South Yorkshire metropolitan ambulance service.

    On 15 April 1989, I walked down a tunnel into Hillsborough, and into the sunshine, thinking: “Where would you rather be on a day like this?” An hour later, at just after 3pm, I am caught somewhere between this life and the next.

    The game has kicked off. I can see people in the north stand following it with their eyes. Others are fixated on the space around me, and pointing furiously, or running down the gangways to the pitch, shouting at police officers. But they are far away. Closer, a few feet away, people are dead on their feet. The air is thick with the smell of excrement and urine. Three men are changing colour, from a pale violet to a ghostly pallor. Some have vomit streaming from their nostrils. People are weeping. Others are gibbering, trying to black out what is happening. I am 19, and I know that I am about to die.

    As my brain begins to flood my body with endorphins, I am lifted above the crowd, in a bubble of warm water. It is strangely peaceful. Then shouting: rasping, aggressive shouting. In a Yorkshire accent: “Get back you stupid *******s!”

    Seconds, maybe minutes later, I open my eyes again. The sky is still blue, and the police have finally come through the gate in the perimeter fence. For the first time in an hour, I am standing up, untouched. Now, as I feel my body for broken ribs or bones, a group of people in front of me – who’d had their backs to me throughout the crush, and who I thought were alive – simply keel over and hit the concrete. A heap of tangled corpses piles up off the ground, three feet high. After a few seconds, I see a limb move and realise someone is alive in there. One police officer who comes through the gate later says that the scene “was like Belsen”.

    Over the next half hour, as the police rush to get word to the BBC, the FA and Liverpool FC’s own lawyer that Liverpool fans had caused the disaster by storming the gates, I and hundreds of other survivors are kicking down advertising boards and picking up bodies. A group of us sprint to a dead man who is lying partially naked by the goalline. We put him on a board and run towards the Forest end, in search of ambulances. When none materialise, we exit the stadium via a ramp and are directed by police into the gymnasium, now a temporary mortuary.


    Behind a badminton net, rows and rows of corpses under paper sheets, a policeman’s helmet on each chest. Coppers are sat around the edge of the gym, on chairs or on the floor, sobbing, hysterical. Someone is headbutting a wall. On the floor, two or three groups of people are each tending to a casualty: some are beating their patient’s chest, furiously, or blowing air into their mouth. Another man is kneeling, cradling the head of a lad in a black jacket, rocking him backwards and forwards gently, as he weeps. “He’s my brother,” he says, sobbing. “He’s my brother.” But he isn’t waking up.
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 23-9-16 at 13:29.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  3. #153  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Part three

    There is much, now, for the public to ponder. This is the biggest cover-up in British history
    Now they handed over my statement. “Read it and sign it, would you?”

    But I wasn’t happy. They had rewritten it; changed the meaning of certain incidents. Omitted key details. “Like what?” the officer said. Well, this happened, and this happened, I told them. He shook his head: “That didn’t happen.”

    Repeatedly, they informed me that I was mistaken; that I hadn’t seen anything significant; that where I was in the stadium wasn’t that bad, and that I would not go forward as a witness at the inquests. My account was probably best simply filed away. So if I just sign this statement, we’ll be off, and you can get on with your life.

    As I grew increasingly angry, the detective with the remote control in his hands pumped up the volume on the TV. I was shouting to be heard in my own living room, and they were trying to drown me out. Eventually, I signed that statement and they were gone. I could not have realised at the time, in the summer of 1989, that I was caught up in one of the biggest attempts to pervert the course of justice in British history. This was happening in real time. So I simply shut the front door, told them to “**** off” under my breath, went up to my bedroom, and broke down.

    But they had planted an awful, tiny seed of doubt in my mind. Where you were wasn’t that bad. You haven’t seen anything. Your recollection is faulty.They had come to steal my truth; but worse, they had implied that I was a fantasist; that I had overreacted. I must be soft, I thought: and soft in the head, too.

    As the months and years went by, and the 1991 inquests recorded a verdict of accidental death, that little seed of doubt took root, and grew, and grew. Perhaps I was mistaken. Maybe I had overreacted. But it didn’t fit with the consistent nightmares, and the pile of corpses. It was like Belsen. Where you were wasn’t that bad.

    I woke up on the kitchen floor one day, after blacking out. I had panic attacks on packed trains. One day, around 1993 or ’94, washing up, or feeding the cat, or cleaning my teeth, I stopped up short and asked myself: “Come on, were you even atHillsborough?”

    For years, intermittently, I would wake in a sweat that drenched the sheets. I would toss and turn so violently in my sleep that one day, I awoke with my feet on the pillow and my head hanging over the side of the bed.

    One morning in 1993, I woke up in a police cell. No longer able to contain my rage, I had kicked off at police officers in London, and been clapped in handcuffs. Now, sitting on a chair in the station, I was handed a charge sheet. Read it and sign it, they said. Ah, I said… I picked up their paperwork, and held it up to the light; turned it over, put it back on the desk. “No, I don’t think so,” I said.

    They laughed at me too, at first; then they gave me a bed, and threw the charge in the bin.

    Then it happened again, in west London, in 1996. But this time, the duty sergeant who released me the following morning sat me down before I left. Gave me a cup of tea. Asked me what I was playing at. I seized my opportunity and said, “I was at Hillsborough in 1989, and I hate coppers.” He nodded, thoughtfully, and said: “Well, I can understand that. But you can’t carry on like this. You’ll ruin your life.”

    I sat there disarmed… stumped. Finally, someone in authority had heard me. It was a two-minute conversation, no more… but I walked out of that police station a reformed character.


    On Thursday, the Hillsborough families announced they would file a lawsuit against both South Yorkshire police and the West Midlands police. But what of the freemasons, those pantomime villains of the piece? In March 2015, David Duckenfield admitted what most of us had long suspected – he had been a freemason since the mid-70s. Remarkably, he was promoted to grand master of his lodge a year after Hillsborough.

    While the masons’ role in the cover-up remains unclear – if indeed they had one – it is significant that Duckenfield sought to mitigate his gross negligence at Hillsborough by explaining that he was inexperienced as a match commander; that he had been dropped in at the deep end by Chief Constable Peter Wright. But Duckenfield was a limited officer; one who – some suspect – was only promoted to chief superintendent thanks to his masonic connections. The fact that Duckenfield was out of his depth at Hillsborough was certainly a factor in the deaths of the 96; perhaps this is the real indictment of a secret brotherhood pulling strings for people who would otherwise fail to prosper.

    There is much, now, for the public to ponder. This is the biggest cover-up in British history – or at least the largest ever exposed. And really, what was it all for? Was this crime committed, and British justice so contaminated, simply to save the reputations of a handful of incompetent or corrupt police officers? Certainly, it appears they were worth more to those in power than 96 dead football fans and their families; worth more than justice itself.

    But now the truth is out. And history will record that it was the police, and not us, who stole from the dead – they stole their lives, they stole the truth about their deaths, and they stole the next 27 years of the lives of their loved ones. They simply do not learn, the South Yorkshire police: there is a thread running from Orgreave, through Hillsborough, and on to the Rotherham child abuse scandal. There is the bill, too: their lies cost the taxpayer £18m in legal fees in Warrington. Worse: the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Operation Resolve investigations into the cover-up are expected to conclude next year at a further cost of £80m.

    'The greatest victory Liverpool has ever won': the city reacts to the Hillsborough verdict

    The conspiracy to pervert the course of justice was but one part of a deceit: the other was a cultural deception. Football fans were the innocent party in this disaster, but we were then robbed of our stake in the game, and of a serious say in how it should be reformed. It was the FA who granted Hillsborough three successive FA cup semi-finals between 1987-89, despite the fact that the ground had ceased to be in possession of a valid safety certificate as of December 1981. But in 1991, the organisation signalled that it was the fans, and not itself, that should change. In its manifesto, a response to Hillsborough and the Taylor report, the FA’s Blueprint for the Future of Football stated: “the response of most sectors has been to move upmarket so as to follow the affluent middle-class consumer … in his or her pursuits or aspirations. We strongly suggest that there is a message in this for football.”

    In 1992, the FA-backed Premier League appeared. In its first, crucial deal with a TV broadcaster, it hopped into bed with BSkyB, owned by Rupert Murdoch, of course: the man ultimately responsible for the Sun’s calumny. The scum had been cut adrift.

    Elsewhere, commentators talk of all-seater stadia as “the lasting legacy of the 96”. While I accept that many of the bereaved welcome all-seater stadia, the families, more than anything, asked for justice, not a plastic seat. Moreover, the 96 died because they wanted to stand on a terrace; they believed in terrace culture. The price of a ticket for the Leppings Lane end of the stadium on 15 April 1989 was £6; a seat ticket £10 – the differential was not prohibitive. The truth is they died not because terraces are inherently unsafe, but because the Leppings Lane was unsafe.

    There is a sense now that a truth of this order must lead to change. On Tuesday, when the jury gave its determinations, BBC journalists with no personal connections to the disaster broke down in court and wept. It is not simply that the jury had got everything right – a remarkable achievement, given the complexity of the case: it is that Hillsborough was never simply a football disaster; it is the tragedy of this country in the 1980s. An entire class of people abandoned by those in power; a police force politicised, who literally turned their backs on people as they screamed for their lives; the transformation of a sport that was a culture into a rapacious, globalised business – sold off to the middle class, on the basis of a monumental injustice.

    On Tuesday night, I went to the Ship and Mitre pub in Liverpool. At 9pm we walked in to the sound of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. Around me, survivors, journalists, the bereaved: singing, drinking, laughing; falling flat on their arses, **********, and getting up again. A community of people, enjoying the quiet satisfaction that they might just have exposed the biggest miscarriage of justice in British history.

    There was satisfaction, too, in the fact that Thatcher had once again been undone: for if, as she claimed, there was no such thing as society, then how had this justice been won, and our country made the better for it? Our most important tools, as campaigners, were each other; the fact we stuck together as a community. It is no coincidence that no other city rejected Thatcherism to the same degree as Liverpool. The likes of Bernard Ingham, Boris Johnson and Simon Heffer disdain the idea of communities holding together, for fear we might take the powerful to task. And we have. Now accountability must follow. Just as old age did not save celebrity sex offenders from prison, nor should it spare former police officers and others who have conspired to pervert the course of justice on such a scale, and to sustain the lie over 27 years. It would be absurd if the passage of time were their defence now.


    It would be false to write that all is sweetness and light in Liverpool this week. There is a great deal of anger and frustration among the survivors I know; it will take months, perhaps years to subside. Perhaps it never will. Similarly, this justice is one of the great moments of my life, but it will not bring closure; because for many people who have suffered deep trauma, the notion of closure is false. It presumes that once traumatised, you are set off on a straight path; that if you simply keep going, then one day, eventually, you will reach a finish line. Cross it, and you have won. But post-traumatic stress condemns you to a circular track, on which you must simply keep going, round and round, for ever. The going might become easier, but there is no finish line. All you can hope to do is accommodate your trauma into your life as best you can. And if you do that, then you have won.

    Hillsborough will always be part of who I am and how I live. It is a torment and a privilege: having come so close to dying at 19, I haven’t wasted my life. And I count so many wonderful people as friends. I am satisfied that I have been part of a campaign, as a journalist and a supporter, to expose this terrible truth. And I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to six women and three men from Warrington whose names I do not know. They have restored my faith in the country I live in; and in the idea of justice.

    And then there is Jenni Hicks. After we had both stood on the steps of St George’s Hall in Liverpool, at Wednesday evening’s vigil, in front of a crowd of 30,000, we retired to the Shankly hotel for a quiet drink, with families and survivors and campaigners. Jenni was gracious, as ever. In her hand, she held two red roses, for the daughters she lost. And she hugged me and told me that without justice for the fans, an unlawful killing verdict would have been meaningless to the families. I sat there with two brilliant Hillsborough campaigners, Jim Sharman and Chris Lightbown, and we watched her go into the night – go home with her two red roses. And we raised a glass to Sarah and Victoria, and to 94 other Liverpool fans, that they might rest in peace.

    For on 26 April 2016, we rewrote history. We made history. After 27 years and 11 days, finally, we got justice for the 96.

    @AdrianTempany

    Adrian Tempany’s book, And the Sun Shines Now: How Hillsborough and the Premier League Changed Britain, is published by Faber on 2 June.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  4. #154  
    Socratease is offline LFC Forums Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    17,418
    Thank you kopitebaz.


    ,
    The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  5. #155  
    Socratease is offline LFC Forums Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    17,418
    The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  6. #156  
    berlivpol is offline Armchair supporter
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2
    Those who seek justice are bound to find it if they don't quit. I'm sick of tragedies where the ones who are guilty find themselves a way out and the victims are ignored in a matter of time.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  7. #157  
    NACNUD is offline Justice Campaigner Extraordinaire
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37,780
    Heartbreaking kopitebaz. Thank you.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  8. #158  
    aylesbyred is online now First team regular
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    49,728
    Quote Originally Posted by NACNUD View Post
    Heartbreaking kopitebaz. Thank you.
    Amen
    dont look back in anger.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  9. #159  
    Socratease is offline LFC Forums Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    17,418
    This worries me, good work by the BBC host Evan Davis;

    https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/sta...30102474575872



    JFT96










    ,
    The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  10. #160  
    Socratease is offline LFC Forums Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    17,418
    Justice – 6-5-11

    22:50

    IP


    Justice for the 96 - what matters here is that justice is seen to be done for all to be witnessed on an unequivocal basis. However, it is not in this case of our loss due to certain self exhonerating individuals who say they have moved onto other jobs/employment now and therefore it has nothing to do with them.

    Many people in the past have even gone to the extent of changing their identities to avoid justice. Balance this with some who to this day still deny their participation of action/inaction and reporting responsibility of the actual events of that terrible day.

    There is no care, they are covering themselves with new activities and pastimes. After all it has been many years. What about the families who have had to cope with empty beds and empty chairs, no favourite foods or clothing to shop for - only tears when picking up a remembered once held favourite?

    Is it not surprising that personal effects are kept alive as they once were, their personal possessions are still here though they themselves are now gone, through no fault of their own?

    What about the need for justice?

    Was/Is it only one paper that behaved this way after the events of 15th April 1989? Yes, and they thought that their manufactured stereotypes were an understood agreement across Fleet Street with their irreverent penchant, but at least Fleet Street did not believe in the 'percieved collective wisdom' of the individual ignorance of that paper and it's history of continual screw ups.

    We do not seek 'revenge' for painful slights against us, we seek justice and accountability for mistakes and ommissions - as well as the lies that were told in print against us just to sell a newspaper (which I used to cut up into squares the following day for the outside toilet in the backyard when I was a kid).

    ... I hope one day that these people who abstain from their past responsibilities will understand one day that when Samuel Butler wrote, 'It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost all.', is ironic and not a pseudonym. What matters is that it is better to love and treasure who we still have living and most of all remember those whom we have lost. The fact is it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, and we loved our ones, all ninety six of them - that we have lost and they will always be remembered.

    Justice...


    ,
    The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  11. #161  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Met chief verdict is third blow to Hillsborough families' faith in IPCC

    Decision reinforces feeling that watchdog lacks adequate independence and backbone to hold police to account

    David Conn
    Thursday 15 December 2016 14.19*GMT

    The report clearing Britain’s most senior police officer of misconduct is the third decision in quick succession that has severely undermined bereaved Hillsborough families’ confidence in the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

    The watchdog has for years been subject to criticism from complainants, lawyers and politicians that it lacks adequate independence and backbone to hold police to account for wrongdoing, and its credibility is seen by some to depend on the outcome of its Hillsborough investigations.

    The IPCC, which the government has already committed to overhauling and renaming, has spent four years investigating the South Yorkshire police failures that caused the 96 deaths at Hillsborough in 1989, the failure of that force afterwards to take responsibility and its attempts instead to blame the victims, and the alleged collusion of West Midlands police, the force appointed in 1989 to investigate.

    Rachel Cerfontyne, the deputy chair of the IPCC and commissioner with responsibility for the Hillsborough investigations, has said the total cost is likely to be about £80m. She and senior investigators hold regular meetings with the bereaved families and give public monthly updates. Cerfontyne has emphasised the seriousness and dedication with which the IPCC has approached its task.

    Yet Pete Weatherby QC, the lead lawyer who represented 22 families at the new inquests that found the 96 people were unlawfully killed due to South Yorkshire police failures at Hillsborough, says confidence in the IPCC is now at zero.

    Weatherby accuses the IPCC of repeatedly finding reasons not to pursue disciplinary cases against police officers, and says his experience and those of the families he represents have led them to conclude it is not fit for purpose.

    The report clearing the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, follows the rejection a fortnight ago of a complaint by Hayley Court, a former South Yorkshire police media officer. There had been claims she was given unethical instructions to spin coverage of the new inquests.

    That development came after the decision that has most damaged the faith of the families in the IPCC: the clearing of David Crompton, the South Yorkshire police chief constable during the new inquests, of seeking to improperly maintain the force’s original stance of blaming the victims for the disaster.

    The families had complained to the IPCC that despite Crompton having issued a full apology in 2012, he did not maintain that stance at the inquests. Instead, the South Yorkshire police barrister, Fiona Barton QC, highlighted alleged misbehaviour by supporters, remained silent when other police lawyers and witnesses were making similar claims, and argued forcefully against the apology being made known to the inquests jury.

    The coroner, Sir John Goldring, accepted her argument and did not require the force’s series of previous apologies and legal admissions for its failures to be put before the jury.

    The families complained that this stance at the inquests, which began in 2014, subjected them to a traumatic re-run of the discredited police lies and lengthened the proceedings to two years, the longest case ever heard by a British jury.

    However, the IPCC, with Cerfontyne herself as the commissioner, found there were no grounds for a misconduct charge against Crompton, concluding that the force did not advance “a particular scenario” at the inquests and that Barton’s questions alleging misbehaviour by supporters were “not part of a deliberate, predetermined strategy”. That decision was upheld last month in a review by Hugh Tomlinson QC.

    The report on Hayley Court’s experience of working as South Yorkshire police’s media officer at the inquests failed to examine all the relevant evidence. It set itself terms of reference that excluded Court’s claim that she had been bullied in the job, which the force had not upheld.

    Within Court’s personnel documents, as revealed by the Guardian in May, was an official view that she had failed to “proactively redress” what the force considered to be “obvious imbalance in media reporting” of the inquest

    However, the IPCC report did not cite this document or investigate what “imbalance” the force believed had been portrayed in the media. Instead, the report listed a series of meetings in which other people disputed Court’s account, and it concluded that she had “misunderstood” her instructions.

    The report also recited extensive alleged criticism of Court and her abilities, including from South Yorkshire police’s barrister, which could seem almost designed to deter future complainants and whistleblowers within the police from ever coming forward. Court, who now has a media relations role outside of the police service, issued a statement saying the report was “manifestly wrong” and that she was very disappointed in the IPCC.

    Files are due to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service imminently on the full criminal investigations into the deaths at Hillsborough and subsequent alleged perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office by police officers.

    Along with all those terribly serious questions about the most devastating and far-reaching police failures is a very pressing one about the competence of the IPCC itself to do a proper job.
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 29-1-17 at 17:43.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  12. #162  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough campaigner Prof Phil Scraton turns down OBE

    Academic refuses honour in protest against ‘those who remained unresponsive’ to efforts for justice after the tragedy

    18:18 GMT Thursday, 29 December 2016

    A Hillsborough campaigner and academic has turned down an OBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list in protest against those who failed to help survivors of the disaster and their bereaved families.

    Prof Phil Scraton, who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research team, refused the honour in protest “at those who remained unresponsive” to efforts for truth and justice after the tragedy.

    An inquest jury concluded in April that the 96 who died in the crush at Hillsborough stadium on 15 April 1989 were unlawfully killed.

    Scraton’s book, Hillsborough: The Truth, is regarded as a definitive account of the disaster and he was given the freedom of the city of Liverpool for his work.

    In a statement reported by the BBC, he said: “I researched Hillsborough from 1989, publishing reports, articles and the first edition of Hillsborough: The Truth in 1990. Until 2009, and despite compelling evidence, successive governments declined to pursue a thorough independent review of the context, consequences and aftermath of the disaster.

    “This changed as a direct result of the families’ and survivors’ brave, persistent campaign. It led to the Hillsborough Independent Panel, its groundbreaking findings, new inquests and their crucially significant verdicts.”

    He added: “I headed the panel’s research team and was a consultant to the families’ lawyers throughout the new inquests. I could not receive an honour on the recommendation of those who remained unresponsive to the determined efforts of bereaved families and survivors to secure truth and justice.”

    Scraton said he appreciated his decision “might come as a disappointment to some Hillsborough families, survivors and whoever nominated me,” the BBC said.

    But he added: “I could not accept an honour tied in name to the ‘British empire’. In my scholarship and teaching I remain a strong critic of the historical, cultural and political contexts of imperialism and their international legacy.”
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 30-1-17 at 10:49.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  13. #163  
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    7,306
    Quote Originally Posted by kopitebaz View Post
    Hillsborough campaigner Prof Phil Scraton turns down OBE
    Academic refuses honour in protest against ‘those who remained unresponsive’ to efforts for justice after the tragedy

    18:18 GMT Thursday, 29 December 2016

    A Hillsborough campaigner and academic has turned down an OBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list in protest against those who failed to help survivors of the disaster and their bereaved families.
    Prof Phil Scraton, who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research team, refused the honour in protest “at those who remained unresponsive” to efforts for truth and justice after the tragedy.
    An inquest jury concluded in April that the 96 who died in the crush at Hillsborough stadium on 15 April 1989 were unlawfully killed.
    Scraton’s book, Hillsborough: The Truth, is regarded as a definitive account of the disaster and he was given the freedom of the city of Liverpool for his work.
    In a statement reported by the BBC, he said: “I researched Hillsborough from 1989, publishing reports, articles and the first edition of Hillsborough: The Truth in 1990. Until 2009, and despite compelling evidence, successive governments declined to pursue a thorough independent review of the context, consequences and aftermath of the disaster.
    “This changed as a direct result of the families’ and survivors’ brave, persistent campaign. It led to the Hillsborough Independent Panel, its groundbreaking findings, new inquests and their crucially significant verdicts.”
    He added: “I headed the panel’s research team and was a consultant to the families’ lawyers throughout the new inquests. I could not receive an honour on the recommendation of those who remained unresponsive to the determined efforts of bereaved families and survivors to secure truth and justice.”
    Scraton said he appreciated his decision “might come as a disappointment to some Hillsborough families, survivors and whoever nominated me,” the BBC said.
    But he added: “I could not accept an honour tied in name to the ‘British empire’. In my scholarship and teaching I remain a strong critic of the historical, cultural and political contexts of imperialism and their international legacy.”
    I can't even begin to explain the respect that I have for Phil Scraton and his work. Absolute legend.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  14. #164  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough disaster: survivors seek justice for alleged police cover-up

    Inquest found that 96 people who died in crush were unlawfully killed, due to South Yorkshire police failings. Now survivors hope those responsible will face charges

    David Conn
    Published:
    07:00 GMT Monday, 02 January 2017

    On the sunny spring day of 15 April 1989, four young men went along in high spirits to watch Liverpool play in the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground. There they were plunged into hell.

    Nick Braley, Richie Greaves, Tim Knowles and Adrian Tempany are all survivors of the horrific crush in pen 3 of Hillsborough’s Leppings Lane terrace, which killed 96 people and injured hundreds more.

    On 26 April 2016, the four were at the converted court in Warrington for verdicts they never really believed would come: the jury at the new inquests determined that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed, due to South Yorkshire police failings and the criminal gross negligence of the officer in command, Ch Supt David Duckenfield.

    The jury rejected the lurid testimony from South Yorkshire police officers, who had accused Liverpool fans of having caused the deaths themselves, alleging they were drunk, late and uncooperative. This time, unlike the first inquest in 1991, the victims and survivors, many of them friends and family of the people who died, were finally exonerated completely.

    But the euphoria of the verdicts, and contemplation of a new year free of false blame for the first time, have not dimmed the anger survivors still feel towards the police. The IPCC is expected to send files to the Crown Prosecution Service early this year in relation to possible manslaughter and other offences for the 96 deaths, and potential perjury and perverting the course of justice by South Yorkshire police officers in the alleged cover-up that followed.

    Hillsborough: ‘Finally, we got justice’

    For the survivors, the worry before the 26 April inquest verdicts had been intense, after the police had sought to blame supporters again, and the coroner, Sir John Goldring, had given the evidence sufficient credence to put it to the jury.

    “To be labelled a murderer of our own fellow fans, which is how I felt we were, was disgusting,” reflected Braley, who was a 19-year-old student at the time. “We have lived with that all our adult lives; we were the accused. If the jury had believed the police lies, that mud would have stuck to us.”

    “It was very, very stressful,” said Greaves. “It reached the point where my wife said she wanted me back; she felt she’d lost me."

    Greaves, 23 in 1989, who now runs a courier company in his native Heswall, said the verdicts lifted a weight of 27 years.

    “I couldn’t even bear hearing the word Hillsborough. The verdicts brought a massive relief and sense of vindication; I feel more confident as a person now. Not to have that burden, that accusation that we were the cause of people dying.”

    Braley, Greaves, Knowles, Tempany and many others have as adults insistently borne witness to the truth of what happened, and applied their professional skills to campaigning against the police’s lies.

    Tempany, who was 19 in 1989, has written an acclaimed book, And the Sun Shines Now, about Hillsborough and English football’s subsequent commercialisation. His account is searing, telling of the horror he endured, trapped as people died around him, and how his trauma was deepened due to the police blaming the victims.

    “I know one survivor who killed himself, two others who tried,” he said. “People were on the edge before the verdicts and if it had gone wrong, they would have been distraught.”

    After the indomitable justice campaign which led in 2012 to the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report comprehensively overturning the police narrative, and the high court quashing of the first inquest, the survivors were shocked to learn late in 2015 that Goldring was putting to the jury the question about whether supporters should be blamed.

    The lord chief justice, Igor Judge, when he quashed the first inquest, had dismissed the police story as a “falsity”, and warned that he would “deprecate” the new inquests turning into an “adversarial battle” like the first. However, neither he nor Goldring actually had the authority to enforce that in new proceedings, and the police chose to rerun the old allegations aggressively. Then, Goldring framed the question for the jury very widely, asking if there was “any of the behaviour of football supporters which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles” – or which “may have caused or contributed” to it.

    Knowles was 17 at Hillsborough, one of 10 young men there who were friends growing up in Formby. Three of their group died: Gary Church, then 19, Simon Bell, 17, and Christopher Devonside, 18. Knowles was particularly close to Devonside and his family; they were studying the same A levels, both wanted to be journalists. Knowles grew up to fulfil that ambition, despite his trauma, making a career in journalism, including working for the Guardian.

    Of the question put to the jury, he is still exasperated: “The police case was always to deny their failings and claim that we killed our friends. Here the coroner was inviting the jury to find that, even that we ‘may have’. So it was a realistic prospect that after everything we had been through to overturn the lies, these new inquests could see that officially established. And we would have been labelled with that all our lives.”

    They were also outraged that Goldring was proposing “football supporters” could be blamed, without any actual people having to be identified for any specific alleged misconduct – and with none of those accused legally represented.

    Deeply alarmed, in January, Braley, Greaves and Knowles applied to Goldring for “interested party” status, to be represented. They were substantially helped by Tempany, campaigner Jim Sharman, and Chris Lightbown, a former Sunday Times journalist who, after the disaster, remained close to some of the bereaved families.

    “I still feel very angry,” said Knowles, “that Goldring was allowing ‘football supporters’ to be blamed, but they were a nameless mob again, nobody identified and given the right to be represented. This was continuing how the false case was made in the first place, by dehumanising football supporters.”

    Goldring turned down their application. He stated via the inquest’s solicitor that the three survivors had no right to be represented, because there had been no accusation made against them personally. He argued it was a “fallacy” to believe that all supporters were being potentially blamed, when the question was about “only some” of them. Their solicitor, Lochlinn Parker, replied that it was “plainly correct” that all survivors were included in the question, because not a single individual had been identified, so it was being asked about everybody who had been at the Leppings Lane end.

    Goldring said the survivors’ case, challenging the police, had been argued at the inquests anyway because some of the bereaved families, who were legally represented, included relatives who had been at the match with those who died. So none of the survivors who applied, nor “football supporters” as a group, were to be represented and allowed to defend their good names.

    Tempany has repeatedly emphasised the devastating impact a finding of culpability would have had on survivors. He wrote in his book that some, traumatised already for years, would have killed themselves. Before the verdicts, the group suggested to the inquests’ organisers that medical and mental health professionals should be on hand but that request was turned down, too.

    Then, on another sunny day in April, the inquests’ jury revealed that they had seen through the police case. To the question about “football supporters” causing or contributing to the dangerous situation, they answered, simply and definitively: “No.”

    Tempany recalled that they felt euphoric, that “poison had been drained from us, a weight lifted off”. But Braley said he still felt great anger at the ordeal they were forced to go through, the “unbelievable stress” before the verdicts, and it took time for him to savour the feeling of exoneration. They are looking ahead to the first year of their adult lives relieved of their burden, but as the Independent Police Complaints Commission concludes its mammoth investigation into possible criminal offences leading to the 96 deaths, and the alleged police cover-up, they do want prosecutions.

    “You cannot be responsible for the deaths of 96 people, and instead label innocent victims as being guilty, have police officers telling such lies, without being held to account,” Braley said. “We have the truth established, finally. Now we want justice to be done.”
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 29-1-17 at 17:48.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  15. #165  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough investigators pass 23 cases to CPS for possible charges

    The 23 include individuals and organisations, with possible charges including gross negligence manslaughter and perverting the course of justice

    David Conn
    Published:
    18:42 GMT Thursday, 12 January 2017

    Criminal charges could be brought for the first time against individuals and organisations involved in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster after the investigators passed files on 23 suspects to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    Fifteen of the 23 investigated have been subject to inquiries relating to the disaster itself on 15 April 1989, in which 96 people were killed and hundreds more were injured in a lethal crush at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough football ground.

    Operation Resolve, the police investigation into the cause of the deaths, said the cases it had sent to the CPS included possible charges of gross negligence manslaughter, perverting the course of justice, misconduct in public office and offences for breaches of the Safety of Sports Ground Act 1975 and health and safety laws.

    Operation Resolve said the 15 suspects included individuals and organisations, but did not identify them.

    Files on the other eight suspects have been referred by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which has been investigating South Yorkshire police officers since 2012 for allegedly covering up the force’s own culpability for the disaster and mounting a false case that Liverpool supporters were to blame.

    The potential offences for which the IPCC has submitted files to the CPS, relating to these eight suspects, include perverting the course of justice, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

    A further 170 allegations of police misconduct, made by family members of the 96 people who died and by Liverpool supporters who were at Hillsborough, were still under investigation, the IPCC said. Of these, 38 are being investigated by Operation Resolve because they relate to the behaviour of police officers on the day of the disaster.

    In April, the jury at the new inquests into the disaster determined that the 96 people were unlawfully killed and found a series of failings by South Yorkshire police, the South Yorkshire Metropolitan ambulance service, Sheffield Wednesday, the club’s engineers Eastwood & Partners and Sheffield city council, which was responsible for licensing Hillsborough for safety. The jury completely exonerated Liverpool supporters and found their conduct did not contribute to the dangerous situation at the ground.

    Trevor Hicks, the president of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose two teenage daughters, Sarah and Vicki, were killed at the match, said he believed diligent investigative work had been done, but that he and some families were disappointed at the number of cases.

    “My view is that it is better to go forward with 23 cases which are solid than more which might be lost, particularly as some of these potential charges are very serious,” he said. “But I am surprised the number is as small as that given the number of people involved on the day and in the years since.”

    Bereaved families and survivors have fought a 28-year campaign for justice after South Yorkshire police blamed supporters for the disaster and since the first inquest reached a verdict of accidental death in March 1991. No individual or organisation was prosecuted for any offence, nor were any police officers subjected to disciplinary proceedings.

    The IPCC’s deputy chair, Rachel Cerfontyne, said she recognised the disappointment of families who had felt “utterly let down by judicial processes” for so many years. She said the number of cases was determined by the criteria that for a suspect to have had criminal intent, in a hierarchical organisation like the police, they would have to be a “controlling mind,” which meant they would be “senior enough to be decision makers”.

    The IPCC said it had found that a total of 289 statements made by South Yorkshire police officers after the disaster had been subsequently amended and that this, including whether pressure was put on officers to amend their accounts, had been a central part of its investigation. The decision at the football ground to take blood samples from the bodies of those who died, to be tested for alcohol, was another focus of the investigation.

    The IPCC said it had investigated police briefings given to the media and politicians after the disaster, including lurid allegations about supporters, which were published in the Sun four days later.

    The West Midlands police, which was brought in to investigate immediately after the disaster, has now been investigated itself by the IPCC, for alleged malpractice and collusion with South Yorkshire police.

    Further investigations were carried out into the alleged influence of freemasons in South Yorkshire police and into whether Sir Norman Bettison, a South Yorkshire police officer at the time of the disaster, was dishonest about his involvement in Hillsborough when he subsequently applied for the role of chief constable at Merseyside police in 1998. Bettison has always denied any wrongdoing and said it was not relevant to state his Hillsborough experience on the application form.

    Robert Beckley, the officer in overall command of Operation Resolve, which also provided evidence for the new inquests, said: “Our task has been to investigate whether any individual or organisation is criminally culpable for their role either in the planning and preparation for the match or on the day of the game itself. The extensive file we have submitted, which contains over 35m words, reflects four years of intense work from my team.”

    Cerfontyne said the Hillsborough investigations had been the largest ever into alleged police wrongdoing in Britain.

    “Conducting an inquiry of this scale and complexity, while supporting the longest running inquests in British legal history, has been a significant undertaking for the IPCC,” she said. “Our criminal investigation has now substantially concluded.”

    The CPS is expected to take between three and six months to assess the files and decide whether there is sufficient evidence to bring charges.
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 29-1-17 at 17:39.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  16. #166  
    Socratease is offline LFC Forums Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    17,418
    Respect to you, kopitebaz.

    From the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...yside-38582111


    Justice.


    ,
    The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  17. #167  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough police officers can't be disciplined as all have retired

    Victims’ families call for law change as investigators say retired offices facing more than 170 allegations of misconduct

    David Conn
    Published:
    16:36 GMT Friday, 13 January 2017

    None of the former police officers under investigation for more than 170 allegations of misconduct relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster will face disciplinary proceedings because all have retired, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has said.

    The complaints of misconduct are being investigated in addition to the potential criminal offences by 23 police officers, organisations and individuals which have led to files being sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for consideration of charges.

    Police officers can still be prosecuted for criminal offences after retirement, but not disciplined. That means none will face internal action over the 170 complaints, which include improper and callous behaviour by some officers on the day of the disaster – in which 96 people were killed at an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest – and subsequent alleged falsifying of witness statements.

    South Yorkshire police have been accused by bereaved families of having mounted a cover-up to avoid their culpability for the disaster, and to have falsely blamed the lethal crush on the behaviour of Liverpool supporters. West Midlands police, who were brought in to investigate, have been accused of failing to act impartially and of colluding with the South Yorkshire force.

    In April, the jury at a new inquests into the disaster found that the 96 people were unlawfully killed due to a series of police and safety failings, and gross negligence manslaughter by the South Yorkshire police officer in command, Ch Supt David Duckenfield. The jury completely exonerated the Liverpool supporters, ruling that their behaviour in no way caused the dangerous situation at the football ground.

    The IPCC’s deputy chair, Rachel Cerfontyne, said that because the most severe sanction from a misconduct charge was dismissal, officers could not be disciplined after they had retired.

    She confirmed that all the officers against whom the complaints had been made, by relatives of those who died and others who attended the match and survived the lethal crush on the Leppings Lane terrace, have retired.

    Trevor Hicks - the president of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose two teenage daughters, Sarah and Vicki, were among those unlawfully killed at the match – said he had always been appalled that police officers were protected from misconduct proceedings by retirement.

    In 1991, Duckenfield avoided disciplinary charges by retiring on medical grounds, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. His deputy, Supt Bernard Murray, did not subsequently face action because South Yorkshire police argued it would be unfair for him to do so alone. No police officer, individual or organisation was prosecuted or disciplined for any offence relating to the deaths of the 96 people or alleged cover-up, leading to a 28-year campaign by families and survivors calling for justice and accountability.

    “It is fundamentally wrong that police officers can escape scot-free, with pensions for life, when they have allegations of misconduct against them,” Hicks said. “Some junior South Yorkshire police officers did a fantastic job trying to help people on the day, and I have commended them, but the behaviour of some caused great distress to families.”

    Becky Shah, who was 17 when her mother Inger died at Hillsborough, criticised the system as outrageous and said she and her brother Daniel, who was 13, remain traumatised by the conduct of some police officers.

    She said her friend, Stephen Oates, who was at the match with Inger Shah and had to identify her body at 2am, was then immediately asked offensive questions by South Yorkshire officers, including whether he was “********” her.

    Daniel Shah, who was at the match with his mother, was interviewed subsequently by West Midlands police officers, who asked him aggressive and intrusive questions about whether she drank alcohol and had boyfriends. Becky Shah said this had contributed to their trauma in the years since, and that the police officers should be held accountable.

    “We are still distressed by how the police behaved and have to live with it all our lives,” she said. “It is outrageous that police officers have impunity from very serious misconduct offences by retirement, and the law should be changed.”

    Many survivors have complained of similar aggressive questioning by West Midlands police officers, and that the typed statements produced from their interviews did not properly reflect what they had said. A group of survivors have also alleged that South Yorkshire police falsified witness statements, including a claim that Liverpool supporters injured a police horse in the crush.

    Cerfontyne said the IPCC continues to investigate the allegations, which investigators currently do not consider to be criminal matters, although they are being kept under review. The IPCC intends to conclude whether charges would have been brought if the officers were still serving, and include these findings in a final report on Hillsborough to be published following any potential prosecutions.
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 29-1-17 at 17:41.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  18. #168  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough families and campaigners slam Theresa May for 'jumping on justice bandwagon '

    Families, survivors and campaigners angry at PM's claims she 'ensured' justice for the 96

    Liverpool Echo
    14:14 Thursday, 2nd February 2017

    Hillsborough families, survivors and campaigners reacted with shock and anger to Theresa May’s claim she ‘ensured’ justice for them.

    The Prime Minister’s comments came as she was grilled in parliament over her support for US President Donald Trump and was defending her record in standing up for ‘British values’.

    Mrs May, Home Secretary at the time fresh inquests and criminal investigations were ordered in 2012, said “I ensured justice for Hillsborough families” while justifying her position but she made no reference whatsoever to the decades of campaigning which came beforehand.

    Her remarks prompted a furious outburst on social media.

    And today Steve Kelly, whose brother Michael, 38, was killed in the disaster, said: “It’s very disrespectful when people try to jump onto the Hillsborough bandwagon now that it suits them.

    “It’s a pity politicians didn’t get behind us all those years ago. It’s due to governments this situation was allowed to go uncorrected for so long.

    “It was the families, the survivors and all who knew what happened at Hillsborough and in the aftermath was wrong who kept it going.

    “Hillsborough for years was seen as the bad penny and people didn’t want to get involved in it.

    “Now we’ve proved the point through the new inquests and the CPS are looking into criminal activity in the police force and the authorities, she shouldn’t be jumping on the bandwagon to score political points for herself and she needs to redress that.”

    Charlotte Hennessy, whose father Jimmy (29) died when she was 6, said: "I find 'ensured' a very strange choice of word.

    "Ms May 'ensured' our legal costs were covered. She did not 'ensure' that we have justice because we don't have justice, we have truth about what actually happens to our loved ones and an honest death certificate.

    "The very fact that she chose to use that word seriously makes me question her reasoning behind it.

    "Does she know something that we don't? She seems pretty sure of herself and yet what the public don't know is that behind the scenes she's not being as forthcoming with the criminal investigation!

    "A few weeks after the inquests we met with the Prime Minister, although she was still home secretary at the time and I asked Mrs May if she was willing to support our proposal for a 'Hillsborough Law' to ensure families never ever have the fight and the struggles that we did and she would not give me an answer!

    "It is the Hillsborough families, the brave survivors and dedicated campaigners who ensured truth and if and when justice follows, that will be down to them too!"

    Louise Brookes, who lost her brother Andrew, 29, said via Twitter: “Let’s be perfectly clear. We as families still do not have justice. All we have are verdicts for 96 causes of death.

    “We will only get justice when certain people are made accountable for their actions and lack of actions and they are behind prison bars.

    “We also do not have the truth because the majority of police witnesses could not recall and suddenly suffered from amnesia when it suited!”

    Phil Scraton, lead author of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, added:

    “Theresa May had no option but to initiate a new criminal investigation while the inception, process and outcome of the inquests had nothing to do with her.

    “Establishing the truth of Hillsborough was conducted in a climate hostile to the truth and brought threats and disdain to those involved.

    “No people know that better than the bereaved families, the survivors and all who have worked throughout to reverse the injustices of Hillsborough.”

    Survivor Damian Kavanagh added to the calls of those asking Ms May to clarify her comments.

    He said: “I was stunned and sickened when I heard what Theresa May claiming credit for something she had nothing to do with.

    “She merely happened to be Home Secretary when the dam burst and truth prevailed against the State.

    “The evidence had been there for years and had been ignored, so she was compelled to act. She had no alternative.

    “I would like to ask her what skills she thinks she has brought to the fight because no-one I know has seen or heard her do anything other than what she had.

    “If there is something else, then I think we all have a right to know.”
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 2-2-17 at 16:02.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  19. #169  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough: a day that began with hope and ended in avoidable tragedy

    Author Kevin Sampson was among the Liverpool fans who attended their FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in 1989. In an extract from his latest book, Hillsborough Voices, he recounts the unfolding horror of that fateful afternoon

    Published:
    11:15 GMT Tuesday, 07 February 2017

    Just like thousands of other Liverpool supporters, I set off for Sheffield on the morning of 15 April 1989 with that giddy mixture of excitement, anticipation and anxiety that accompanies an FA Cup semi-final. I’d been to four FA Cup finals by then, sampling two wins and two defeats. And I’d been there, too, when Liverpool were knocked out of the Cup at the semi-final stage in 1979, 1980 and 1985. If the Cup final defeats were hard to bear, it was tougher still falling at the penultimate hurdle. There’s no pain quite like a semi-final knockout blow – or so I thought.

    There were four of us in the car. Hobo – Ian Hodrien – was driving, with myself and my brother Neil in the back. Our special guest was a Juventus supporter, Mauro Garino, a mate we’d first met in Dover when he was hitching back from Celtic in 1981. Mauro had been coming to Liverpool every year since then, usually staying at ours over Christmas. Our friendship had survived the Heysel Stadium tragedy in 1985, and Mauro’s one big ambition was to watch Liverpool in an FA Cup final at Wembley. It was his birthday on 8 April and I got him a ticket for the next best thing – a semi-final between Liverpool and one of the best teams of the country, Nottingham Forest.

    We headed off that fine spring morning with hope in our hearts, yet hopelessly unaware of a series of unrelated events that were already combining to disastrous effect. One such factor was a major hold-up between Hyde and Glossop, where roadworks slowed traffic to a standstill.

    Eventually, we got through the Glossop bottleneck and headed over the sun-dappled Snake Pass, taking the Rivelin Road shortcut into north Sheffield. I had been to Sheffield Wednesday many times before and, from my days as a student in Sheffield, I knew the Hillsborough area well. I convinced everyone that we’d get served quicker if we avoided the popular pubs near the ground and went to the Freemasons Arms, a famous old pub in the back streets of Hillsborough itself.

    So we parked up a fair old walk from the ground, and headed into the Freemasons around 1.30pm. So much for my plan, though – it was packed, with as many fans from Nottingham as Liverpool thronging the bar. The atmosphere was brilliant, everyone happy in spite of the prolonged wait to get served. Mauro tried to start his ‘song of scarf ’ – a version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ that, inevitably, consisted of him wailing various syllables – and was only mildly bemused when the Forest fans drowned him out with, “What the *********** hell was that?” It was the last time we’d be laughing that day.

    The pub started to empty out. I was agitating for us four to take advantage of the sudden lull so we could squeeze in one more pint, assuring the others I knew of a shortcut to the ground. Neil and Hobo were wise to my shortcuts, however. They checked with the bar staff, who confirmed that the football ground was a brisk 15-minute walk away, so that was that. At 2.15 p.m. we made our way towards the ground. Yet, as we got closer, it became apparent that the way ahead was completely blocked. There was a backlog of Liverpool supporters, 10 or 12 abreast, queuing up but, seemingly, going nowhere.

    This is no revisionist hindsight – the crowd was, in the main, good-humoured. I went across to ask a policeman what was going on; why the crowd wasn’t moving. The only reply I received was, ‘What’s up with you? Are you nesh?’ I think he was saying that a certain amount of pushing and shoving was only to be expected at such a big game, and I should tough it out.

    Lord Justice Taylor’s Interim Report of August 1989 says that Chief Superintendent Duckenfield’s second-in-command, Superintendent Bernard Murray, received a message from his commander on the ground, Chief Inspector Creaser, at around noon. Creaser asked Murray whether the Leppings Lane pens should be opened, and filled, one at a time. Murray’s reply illustrates a blind faith in what was, effectively, self-policing among football crowds. He said that all pens should be opened simultaneously, as fans would ‘find their own level’. That kind of thinking might have some plausibility in a huge, unsegregated end like the Kop but, with Leppings Lane sectioned off into pens by radial fencing, it was a huge risk assuming we would simply work things out among ourselves.

    The problem that faced us was that there were only seven turnstiles servicing that route into the ground. Yet many of the 10,000 Leppings Lane ticketholders, as well as the 4,500 with seats in the West Stand above it, would all be gravitating towards those solitary seven turnstiles. And, on the day, it was even worse: because of the way the police were segregating fans, they blocked off access to the main road feeding the remaining 16 turnstiles on the other side of Leppings Lane. This meant there were also North Stand ticketholders compelled to enter the ground via the same besieged turnstiles. It was turning into a free-for-all, and I was, by now, very glad that we hadn’t stayed for that third pint.

    With hindsight, the lack of turnstiles, added to the physical restrictions of the area outside the ground, are the main reasons for the insufferable build-up before the game. In simple terms, the geography of Leppings Lane dictated that there was no overspill, nowhere for the ever-growing crowd to go. But there are other factors, too. There was absolutely no leadership or direction from either the police or the Sheffield Wednesday stewards.

    As more and more people tried to fit into the narrow confines outside the turnstiles, I found myself being propelled, feet off the floor, closer and closer towards a red-brick wall. I was powerless to change my direction, or the angle at which I was being carried. My face was being pushed into the wall, when my brother, Neil, arrived behind me. He forced the palms of his hands flat against the wall, either side of my head, and used the leverage to push back, creating a little space for me to manœuvre in. At that exact moment, the concertina gate to our left opened. We stood back for a second expecting the police to eject someone, or police horses to come in or out. Then, slowly, people started to file in. Neil and I went through, and waited for Mauro and Hobo.

    We stood to one side on the concourse, just inside the gates, where people were buying refreshments and matchday programmes. The concourse area was small, almost diamond-shaped, and would have seemed crowded with just a few hundred people standing around. But with the steady flow of fans now coming in three, four or five abreast, sight-lines to the limited signage directing supporters to alternative entrances were almost completely obstructed by the ever-growing number of fans on the concourse.

    Only one sign could be clearly seen. Directly above your head as you came through the turnstiles was the tunnel that led to the central pens, 3 and 4. It was unmissable, one big sign directly above the tunnel with the word STANDING.

    The tunnel shelved down to a steep, 1:6 gradient. Such tunnels in city centres, train stations and pedestrianised areas are typically flat, with 1:10 the accepted norm for a safe, gently sloping tunnel. But at Hillsborough, at peak, pre-match capacity, many fans would be swept down the steep Leppings Lane tunnel towards whichever pen the flow might take them.

    The Leppings Lane terrace had been divided into six sections, each closed off with radial fencing – pens, essentially – of which numbers 3 and 4 were situated directly behind the goal. The terrace was just about fit for accommodating a small-to-average 1980s away support. But for a major occasion like the FA Cup semi-final, the turnstiles, the concourse and the terracing itself at the Leppings Lane end were all woefully ill-equipped.

    And Leppings Lane had already experienced a history of crowd problems, and especially in the FA Cup. At the 1981 semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur, Spurs fans experienced unbearable crushing on these same terraces. On that occasion the South Yorkshire police responded quickly to the danger and opened gates in the fencing to allow Spurs fans to spill out on to the pitch. After the problems at that game, Hillsborough was not used again as a semi-final venue until 1987, when Leeds United played Coventry City. But the lessons of 1981 had not been learned. There was, once again, overcrowding in the central pens, and Leeds fans in the seats above had to haul crushed and fainting fans to safety.

    We spotted Mauro and Hobo heading for the tunnel. I managed to grab Hobo’s jumper, pulling him back and shouting “Mauro” at the same time: “This way!”. To this day, I cannot contemplate what might have happened had I not known the ground’s layout as I did. Perhaps if I hadn’t been so slight I’d have taken my chances with the majority. But my instinct was to head away from the numbers and find a quieter ‘spec’. Even as we made our way to the corner passageway, carnage was already unfolding on the Leppings Lane terracing.

    What happened next has come to be known as ‘the Hillsborough tragedy’. Yet the word ‘tragedy’ implies something accidental. But Hillsborough was far from being a tragic accident; it was a man-made disaster. There were warning signs and opportunities in the build-up to the game, and on the day itself, to avert the inevitable. These indicators and options were ignored, leading 96 to their deaths. So our sadness for that tragedy should be matched by our righteous anger at its causes.

    Hillsborough Voices by Kevin Sampson is published by Penguin Random House. The paperback version is released on Thursday, 9 February.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  20. #170  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    The Hillsborough Blog
    Monthly update - February 2017

    Posted 8 February 2017 - 10:33am by Rachel Cerfontyne (IPCC lead commissioner for the Hillsborough Investigation)
    This is the latest update on the Hillsborough investigation.

    Most of you will be aware that we recently announced, along with Operation Resolve,
    that evidence files relating 23 suspects had been formally referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
    which will decide whether criminal charges should follow.

    This is a significant milestone, however there is still work to do. The IPCC and Operation Resolve
    are continuing to work in Renaissance House in Warrington. Investigators will support the CPS
    by undertaking any additional tasks they require during this decision-making period. Both teams are also continuing to investigate over 170 allegations of misconduct received from family members, survivors and members of the public. Further details on the investigation of misconduct, and how this differs from criminal matters, is below.

    Both teams are also continuing to disclose all ‘unused’ material related to the investigation, ie, materials that haven’t been used in the key evidential files, in line with national legislation and to prepare for any potential criminal proceedings. This is a huge task and probably one of the biggest exercises of its kind ever undertaken.

    We remain focussed and committed to our work, as we have always been.

    Suspects/Referrals
    The IPCC has referred files relating to eight suspects to the CPS
    from its independent investigation into the aftermath of the disaster. The focus of our work has always been to identify the ‘controlling minds’ of the alleged cover-up and those individuals who made key decisions at this time.

    The information the IPCC has provided to the CPS
    about West Midlands Police and South Yorkshire Police runs to 61,000 pages and nearly 3,000 documents respectively.

    Misconduct
    Our criminal enquiries have substantially concluded, therefore we are now focussed on completing our examination of more than 170 misconduct allegations relating to police officers involved in Hillsborough. Some of these allegations are contained in complaints received from family members of those who died, survivors of the tragedy and members of the public. There have also been potential misconduct issues identified from other investigative work, including a review of all
    witness statements gathered during the course of the wider inquiry.

    Misconduct occurs when the professional police standards are breached by an individual. Police officers and staff can lose their jobs in the most serious cases where misconduct is proven. The test to prove whether misconduct has occurred is ‘the balance of probabilities’, ie, whether it is more likely than not that standards have been breached. This test has a lower threshold than the process used to assess whether a criminal offence has been committed; the criminal standard of proof is that there must be certainty ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. The evidence we have gathered so far relating to these officers indicates alleged misconduct, not criminality.
    However this can and will be reviewed if any further evidence emerges as we carry out this work.

    Many of you will be aware that these police officers being investigated for alleged misconduct have now retired. This means that they cannot face any disciplinary sanctions if a case to answer for misconduct is found. However, officers who are no longer serving can still face criminal proceedings if the CPS
    decide to bring criminal charges.

    Final investigation report
    Work on our final investigation report is now well-advanced. The report will contain comprehensive summaries of the evidence found during the IPCC independent and managed investigations. It will also state whether any officer under investigation would have had a case to answer for misconduct if they were still serving. The report will be published once any potential criminal proceedings have concluded.
    Last edited by kopitebaz; 9-2-17 at 08:05.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  21. #171  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Liverpool Football Club ban Sun journalists over Hillsborough coverage

    • Newspaper barred from Anfield and club’s Melwood training ground
    • Decision based on notorious coverage immediately after 1989 disaster

    David Conn
    Published:
    15:04 GMT Friday, 10 February 2017

    Liverpool Football Club have banned the Sun from its Anfield stadium and Melwood training ground over the newspaper’s notorious coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed.

    The Sun will not be permitted to report on the club’s matches from Anfield and be given no access to interview players or the manager, Jürgen Klopp. The decision is understood to have been taken by Liverpool’s Boston-based owners, led by the financier John Henry, after club executives had discussions with families whose relatives were killed at Hillsborough at the 1989 FA Cup semi final.

    Bereaved families, survivors and supporters have never forgiven the Sun for its coverage four days after the disaster, in which it ran extremely damaging allegations about Liverpool supporters’ behaviour under the headline ‘The Truth’, which are now established to have been false, told by unnamed South Yorkshire police officers. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has conducted a wide-ranging inquiry into which officers made the allegations, as part of its criminal investigation into possible perverting of the course of justice by South Yorkshire police officers.

    Renewed campaigns to boycott the paper have grown on Merseyside since the jury at the new inquests into the deaths found last April that the 96 people were unlawfully killed, due to manslaughter by gross negligence of the South Yorkshire police officer in command of the match, Ch Supt David Duckenfield. The Total Eclipse of The S*n‚ campaign was supported by the Hillsborough Family Support Group, and led to agreements by some retailers not to stock the paper, and to Liverpool city council supporting the wider boycott.

    Liverpool were approached by the campaign, then discussed with families the possibility of withdrawing accreditation from the paper. The families are understood to have said that they did not believe the Sun should be given access to the club, which was supported by all the 96 people who died, given the damage its coverage did days after the disaster. The decision to ban the paper was taken on Thursday night.

    On Wednesday 19 April, four days after the disaster, with 95 people confirmed dead – the 96th victim, Tony Bland, suffered irreversible brain damage and had his life support turned off in 1993 – The Sun, then edited by Kelvin McKenzie, ran its infamous front page. It reported as fact a series of allegations made by unnamed South Yorkshire police sources, principally that some Liverpool supporters had attacked and urinated on “brave cops” as they attempted to save people, and that some supporters had stolen from dead bodies.

    The coverage caused tremendous distress to families in the first stages of shock and grief at the loss of their relatives, and among survivors of the deadly crush and Liverpool supporters, many of whom were filmed working hard to help save and rescue victims. Families believe that the huge, uncritical publicity given to those lurid stories greatly contributed to their difficulties in having the real truth established, leading to a traumatic justice campaign and legal battle for 27 years until last April’s inquests verdict.

    The coverage led to an immediate boycott of the Sun on Merseyside, which has been strongly adhered to, and attempted apologies made by the paper, and latterly McKenzie, years after the stories were run, have never been accepted by the bereaved family groups.

    Liverpool sources confirmed that the decision had been taken to ban the newspaper, but said the club will not be making an official comment. Over the years of bereaved families campaigning for justice, Liverpool has consulted with the HFSG on policy issues relating to Hillsborough.

    The HFSG declined to comment officially. In a tweet, Margaret Aspinall, chair of the HFSG, said: “I don’t want to give that scum any further publicity so have no other comment.”

    Speaking in a personal capacity, Trevor Hicks, president of the HFSG, whose teenage daughters Sarah and Vicki were among the 96 people killed at Hillsborough, said: “The Sun’s coverage did enormous damage to me, [his then wife] Jenni and all the families and caused us great distress. We tried to contact the Sun many years ago; we asked them to name their sources for the scurrilous stories, but we never got that and we have never moved on since.

    “We did not accept that the apologies they have made were genuine, and we support Liverpool football club banning the paper. All the 96 people who died supported Liverpool, Anfield is our spiritual home, and there was an element of the place being besmirched by the presence of the Sun.”

    In a statement, a Sun spokesperson said: “The Sun and Liverpool FC have had a solid working relationship for the 28 years since the Hillsborough tragedy. Banning journalists from a club is bad for fans and bad for football. The Sun can reassure readers this won’t affect our full football coverage.

    “The Sun deeply regrets its reporting of the tragic events at Hillsborough and understands the damage caused by those reports is still felt by many in the city. A new generation of journalists on the paper congratulate the families on the hard fought victory they have achieved through the inquest. It is to their credit that the truth has emerged and, whilst we can’t undo the damage done, we would like to further a dialogue with the city and to show that the paper has respect for the people of Liverpool.”
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  22. #172  
    Shriekback is online now Academy prospect
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10,677
    Quote Originally Posted by kopitebaz View Post
    Liverpool Football Club ban Sun journalists over Hillsborough coverage

    • Newspaper barred from Anfield and club’s Melwood training ground
    • Decision based on notorious coverage immediately after 1989 disaster

    David Conn
    Published:
    15:04 GMT Friday, 10 February 2017

    Liverpool Football Club have banned the Sun from its Anfield stadium and Melwood training ground over the newspaper’s notorious coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed.

    The Sun will not be permitted to report on the club’s matches from Anfield and be given no access to interview players or the manager, Jürgen Klopp. The decision is understood to have been taken by Liverpool’s Boston-based owners, led by the financier John Henry, after club executives had discussions with families whose relatives were killed at Hillsborough at the 1989 FA Cup semi final.

    Bereaved families, survivors and supporters have never forgiven the Sun for its coverage four days after the disaster, in which it ran extremely damaging allegations about Liverpool supporters’ behaviour under the headline ‘The Truth’, which are now established to have been false, told by unnamed South Yorkshire police officers. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has conducted a wide-ranging inquiry into which officers made the allegations, as part of its criminal investigation into possible perverting of the course of justice by South Yorkshire police officers.

    Renewed campaigns to boycott the paper have grown on Merseyside since the jury at the new inquests into the deaths found last April that the 96 people were unlawfully killed, due to manslaughter by gross negligence of the South Yorkshire police officer in command of the match, Ch Supt David Duckenfield. The Total Eclipse of The S*n‚ campaign was supported by the Hillsborough Family Support Group, and led to agreements by some retailers not to stock the paper, and to Liverpool city council supporting the wider boycott.

    Liverpool were approached by the campaign, then discussed with families the possibility of withdrawing accreditation from the paper. The families are understood to have said that they did not believe the Sun should be given access to the club, which was supported by all the 96 people who died, given the damage its coverage did days after the disaster. The decision to ban the paper was taken on Thursday night.

    On Wednesday 19 April, four days after the disaster, with 95 people confirmed dead – the 96th victim, Tony Bland, suffered irreversible brain damage and had his life support turned off in 1993 – The Sun, then edited by Kelvin McKenzie, ran its infamous front page. It reported as fact a series of allegations made by unnamed South Yorkshire police sources, principally that some Liverpool supporters had attacked and urinated on “brave cops” as they attempted to save people, and that some supporters had stolen from dead bodies.

    The coverage caused tremendous distress to families in the first stages of shock and grief at the loss of their relatives, and among survivors of the deadly crush and Liverpool supporters, many of whom were filmed working hard to help save and rescue victims. Families believe that the huge, uncritical publicity given to those lurid stories greatly contributed to their difficulties in having the real truth established, leading to a traumatic justice campaign and legal battle for 27 years until last April’s inquests verdict.

    The coverage led to an immediate boycott of the Sun on Merseyside, which has been strongly adhered to, and attempted apologies made by the paper, and latterly McKenzie, years after the stories were run, have never been accepted by the bereaved family groups.

    Liverpool sources confirmed that the decision had been taken to ban the newspaper, but said the club will not be making an official comment. Over the years of bereaved families campaigning for justice, Liverpool has consulted with the HFSG on policy issues relating to Hillsborough.

    The HFSG declined to comment officially. In a tweet, Margaret Aspinall, chair of the HFSG, said: “I don’t want to give that scum any further publicity so have no other comment.”

    Speaking in a personal capacity, Trevor Hicks, president of the HFSG, whose teenage daughters Sarah and Vicki were among the 96 people killed at Hillsborough, said: “The Sun’s coverage did enormous damage to me, [his then wife] Jenni and all the families and caused us great distress. We tried to contact the Sun many years ago; we asked them to name their sources for the scurrilous stories, but we never got that and we have never moved on since.

    “We did not accept that the apologies they have made were genuine, and we support Liverpool football club banning the paper. All the 96 people who died supported Liverpool, Anfield is our spiritual home, and there was an element of the place being besmirched by the presence of the Sun.”

    In a statement, a Sun spokesperson said: “The Sun and Liverpool FC have had a solid working relationship for the 28 years since the Hillsborough tragedy. Banning journalists from a club is bad for fans and bad for football. The Sun can reassure readers this won’t affect our full football coverage.

    “The Sun deeply regrets its reporting of the tragic events at Hillsborough and understands the damage caused by those reports is still felt by many in the city. A new generation of journalists on the paper congratulate the families on the hard fought victory they have achieved through the inquest. It is to their credit that the truth has emerged and, whilst we can’t undo the damage done, we would like to further a dialogue with the city and to show that the paper has respect for the people of Liverpool.”
    Excellent news.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  23. #173  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough families to crowdfund to pay police chief costs

    Five ordered to pay £28,000 court fees incurred by former South Yorkshire police police boss David Crompton

    David Conn
    Published:
    14:33 GMT Thursday, 02 March 2017

    A crowdfunding appeal is to be set up for five people whose relatives died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, after a judge ordered them to pay the £28,000 legal costs of former South Yorkshire police chief constable David Crompton.

    Lady Justice Sharp made the costs order after refusing an application by the five family members to be formally involved in Crompton’s appeal against his dismissal by the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Alan Billings, last year.

    Billings called on Crompton to resign after the verdicts of the jury at the new inquests into the disaster. The inquests ruled that the 96 people who died at Hillsborough were unlawfully killed due to the failings of South Yorkshire police, and exonerated Liverpool supporters of any misbehaviour which police alleged contributed to the dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final.

    Bereaved families severely criticised Crompton afterwards, arguing that South Yorkshire police had conducted its case to allege again that supporters misbehaved, despite Crompton having apologised for the force’s failings in 2012.

    Billings, who after his election as the PCC supported Crompton throughout the inquests, based his subsequent sacking of the chief constable not on the force’s conduct of the case but on three words in a press release issued afterwards. In that statement, the force said that Crompton “unequivocally accepted the jury’s conclusions” and claimed it had never sought to defend its officers’ failures, but said those failures had to be put into the context of “other contributory factors”.

    Crompton’s application for a judicial review of Billings’ decision, due to be heard later this month, is supported by the chief inspector of constabulary, Tom Winsor, who has argued the sacking was unfair and disproportionate, and described as “simply unreal” Billings’ argument that the press statement had made Crompton’s position untenable. The five family members based their legal application on arguing that they could provide evidence about the distress the South Yorkshire police case caused them, and that it significantly lengthened the inquests.

    Their barrister, Kate Stone, had urged Sharp, sitting with Mr Justice Garnham, not to award costs against the families, saying: “They have no public funding and no costs protection; there is a small amount of charitable funding in place to make the application, and that is all there is. In my submission the court should be slow to make an order in those circumstances, particularly given [the family members’] status as victims of a historic miscarriage of justice.”

    The judges, however, ruled that the families’ evidence about the conduct of the inquests would not be relevant to the issues in Crompton’s dismissal, and having dismissed their application, ordered them to pay Crompton’s costs. His lawyers, Kingsley Napley, are understood to be funded by insurance under a policy Crompton paid for himself while he was the chief constable. The bill for his representation, £28,000, was described as excessive by the families’ solicitor, Elkan Abrahamson, who said he was “staggered” by the figure, which will now be assessed by the court.

    Abrahamson said that the families believed the judicial review of the South Yorkshire police press statement needed to understand the context of the force’s conduct of the inquests. Crompton’s lawyers argued throughout that the legal basis for the application was weak, and made it clear they would seek to have his costs paid if the families lost. Abrahamson said that he nevertheless believed the likelihood of the court actually ordering Hillsborough families to pay the legal costs of the former police boss were “very low”.

    The families’ legal representation during the two-year inquests was paid by the Home Office, and public funding is continuing during the justice process, in which the Crown Prosecution Service is considering potential criminal charges against 23 individuals and organisations. However, it did not extend to the application for involvement in Crompton’s judicial review.

    Families had to fund their own lawyers after the disaster, with 42 paying £3,000 each for a single barrister, who was opposed by publicly funded lawyers for the police and other organisations at the first inquest. Its jury returned a verdict of accidental death in March 1991, leading to a 25-year campaign to overturn it.

    Abrahamson said a friend of one of the families is intending to set up a crowdfunding appeal to meet the costs order imposed by the court.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  24. #174  
    NACNUD is offline Justice Campaigner Extraordinaire
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37,780
    Quote Originally Posted by kopitebaz View Post
    Hillsborough families to crowdfund to pay police chief costs

    Five ordered to pay £28,000 court fees incurred by former South Yorkshire police police boss David Crompton

    David Conn
    Published:
    14:33 GMT Thursday, 02 March 2017

    A crowdfunding appeal is to be set up for five people whose relatives died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, after a judge ordered them to pay the £28,000 legal costs of former South Yorkshire police chief constable David Crompton.

    Lady Justice Sharp made the costs order after refusing an application by the five family members to be formally involved in Crompton’s appeal against his dismissal by the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Alan Billings, last year.

    Billings called on Crompton to resign after the verdicts of the jury at the new inquests into the disaster. The inquests ruled that the 96 people who died at Hillsborough were unlawfully killed due to the failings of South Yorkshire police, and exonerated Liverpool supporters of any misbehaviour which police alleged contributed to the dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final.

    Bereaved families severely criticised Crompton afterwards, arguing that South Yorkshire police had conducted its case to allege again that supporters misbehaved, despite Crompton having apologised for the force’s failings in 2012.

    Billings, who after his election as the PCC supported Crompton throughout the inquests, based his subsequent sacking of the chief constable not on the force’s conduct of the case but on three words in a press release issued afterwards. In that statement, the force said that Crompton “unequivocally accepted the jury’s conclusions” and claimed it had never sought to defend its officers’ failures, but said those failures had to be put into the context of “other contributory factors”.

    Crompton’s application for a judicial review of Billings’ decision, due to be heard later this month, is supported by the chief inspector of constabulary, Tom Winsor, who has argued the sacking was unfair and disproportionate, and described as “simply unreal” Billings’ argument that the press statement had made Crompton’s position untenable. The five family members based their legal application on arguing that they could provide evidence about the distress the South Yorkshire police case caused them, and that it significantly lengthened the inquests.

    Their barrister, Kate Stone, had urged Sharp, sitting with Mr Justice Garnham, not to award costs against the families, saying: “They have no public funding and no costs protection; there is a small amount of charitable funding in place to make the application, and that is all there is. In my submission the court should be slow to make an order in those circumstances, particularly given [the family members’] status as victims of a historic miscarriage of justice.”

    The judges, however, ruled that the families’ evidence about the conduct of the inquests would not be relevant to the issues in Crompton’s dismissal, and having dismissed their application, ordered them to pay Crompton’s costs. His lawyers, Kingsley Napley, are understood to be funded by insurance under a policy Crompton paid for himself while he was the chief constable. The bill for his representation, £28,000, was described as excessive by the families’ solicitor, Elkan Abrahamson, who said he was “staggered” by the figure, which will now be assessed by the court.

    Abrahamson said that the families believed the judicial review of the South Yorkshire police press statement needed to understand the context of the force’s conduct of the inquests. Crompton’s lawyers argued throughout that the legal basis for the application was weak, and made it clear they would seek to have his costs paid if the families lost. Abrahamson said that he nevertheless believed the likelihood of the court actually ordering Hillsborough families to pay the legal costs of the former police boss were “very low”.

    The families’ legal representation during the two-year inquests was paid by the Home Office, and public funding is continuing during the justice process, in which the Crown Prosecution Service is considering potential criminal charges against 23 individuals and organisations. However, it did not extend to the application for involvement in Crompton’s judicial review.

    Families had to fund their own lawyers after the disaster, with 42 paying £3,000 each for a single barrister, who was opposed by publicly funded lawyers for the police and other organisations at the first inquest. Its jury returned a verdict of accidental death in March 1991, leading to a 25-year campaign to overturn it.

    Abrahamson said a friend of one of the families is intending to set up a crowdfunding appeal to meet the costs order imposed by the court.



    A fund has been set up to help the five families pay this disgraceful judgement. It is genuine and any money donated over the amount the families have to pay then it will be donated to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.


    If anyone feels they would like to make a donation link is at end of this post.


    https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfund...term=8XeR7Gvv6
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  25. #175  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    'Hillsborough law' could imprison police officers who are not truthful
    Bill proposed by Andy Burnham to impose duty of candour was prompted by 27-year fight for fair hearing for victims’ families

    David Conn
    Published:
    06:00 BST Wednesday, 29 March 2017

    A proposed “Hillsborough law” requiring police forces and public authorities to be open and truthful in legal proceedings, including about their own failures, and that would give bereaved families the same resources as the police to make their case at future inquests is to be presented to parliament.

    The 10-minute-rule bill will be introduced by Labour MP Andy Burnham on Wednesday. The public authority (accountability) bill would impose on public authorities and employees a duty to act with “transparency, candour and frankness”. Individual officials would face a fine or maximum two-year term in prison for failing to do so, including for feeding misleading information to the media.

    It has been developed following the verdicts of the second inquest into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which found that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed, vindicating their families’ 27-year fight against an alleged cover-up by South Yorkshire police.

    The Hillsborough law also proposes that families whose relatives have been killed or seriously injured in the care of the police or other public authority should have funding equal to those bodies for legal representation at subsequent inquests or public inquiries.

    The families whose relatives died at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough had to pay for lawyers themselves, while South Yorkshire police, individual police officers, the South Yorkshire Metropolitan ambulance service, Sheffield city council and other authorities responsible were publicly funded.

    The bereaved families could not all afford to pay for lawyers, and ultimately 42 agreed to pay £3,000 each, which funded solicitors and a single barrister to represent all of them at the first inquest, held in Sheffield from November 1990 to March 1991.

    The South Yorkshire police case was to deny that its failings had caused the deaths, and instead to allege that the victims themselves, people who had paid to attend the semi-final and support Liverpool, were to blame for misbehaving. The verdict, of accidental death, was never accepted by the families, who campaigned relentlessly for justice before the verdict was finally quashed in December 2012.

    Under Theresa May as home secretary, the government did pay for lawyers to represent the families at the new inquests, at a cost of £63.6m for highly experienced firms of solicitors and teams of senior and junior barristers to fight the case that ran from March 2014 to April 2016, the longest-ever heard by a British jury.

    The families blamed the lengthening of the inquests on South Yorkshire police and individual officers for again refusing to admit failings and seeking to allege misbehaviour by Liverpool supporters, which led to months of fierce adversarial exchanges in court.

    Ultimately the jury determined that the 96 people were unlawfully killed owing to gross negligence manslaughter by the officer in command, Ch Supt David Duckenfield, that South Yorkshire police were culpable of serial failings, and that there was no misbehaviour by supporters that contributed to the dangerous situation.

    Afterwards, the families criticised the South Yorkshire police chief constable, David Crompton, who was subsequently sacked by the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, Alan Billings, over a press release issued to clarify the position. Crompton’s appeal against his dismissal began in the high court on Tuesday.

    Margaret Aspinall, the chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group and whose 18-year-old son James was one of the 96 people killed at Hillsborough, said the families fully support the proposed new law. “We do not want any other families to suffer as we have,” she said. “The police and public bodies must have a duty to tell the truth from the start and bereaved families must have equal funding for lawyers to represent them.”

    The bill will realistically be passed into law only if May’s government adopts it. That will become more likely if it is recommended by Sir James Jones, the former bishop of Liverpool, who is working on an official report for May on lessons to be learned from the Hillsborough families’ experiences.

    Burnham is expected to tell parliament he is disappointed that the Hillsborough verdict has not already led to broad legal reform, and argue that the proposed law is vital for bereaved families, would promote better public administration and improve confidence in the police.

    “The bill fundamentally rebalances the legal and coronial system in favour of ordinary people,” he will say, citing a series of continuing campaigns against injustice. “Until that happens, then the true lesson of Hillsborough will not have been learned.”
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  26. #176  
    NACNUD is offline Justice Campaigner Extraordinaire
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37,780
    Quote Originally Posted by kopitebaz View Post
    'Hillsborough law' could imprison police officers who are not truthful
    Bill proposed by Andy Burnham to impose duty of candour was prompted by 27-year fight for fair hearing for victims’ families

    David Conn
    Published:
    06:00 BST Wednesday, 29 March 2017

    A proposed “Hillsborough law” requiring police forces and public authorities to be open and truthful in legal proceedings, including about their own failures, and that would give bereaved families the same resources as the police to make their case at future inquests is to be presented to parliament.

    The 10-minute-rule bill will be introduced by Labour MP Andy Burnham on Wednesday. The public authority (accountability) bill would impose on public authorities and employees a duty to act with “transparency, candour and frankness”. Individual officials would face a fine or maximum two-year term in prison for failing to do so, including for feeding misleading information to the media.

    It has been developed following the verdicts of the second inquest into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which found that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed, vindicating their families’ 27-year fight against an alleged cover-up by South Yorkshire police.

    The Hillsborough law also proposes that families whose relatives have been killed or seriously injured in the care of the police or other public authority should have funding equal to those bodies for legal representation at subsequent inquests or public inquiries.

    The families whose relatives died at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough had to pay for lawyers themselves, while South Yorkshire police, individual police officers, the South Yorkshire Metropolitan ambulance service, Sheffield city council and other authorities responsible were publicly funded.

    The bereaved families could not all afford to pay for lawyers, and ultimately 42 agreed to pay £3,000 each, which funded solicitors and a single barrister to represent all of them at the first inquest, held in Sheffield from November 1990 to March 1991.

    The South Yorkshire police case was to deny that its failings had caused the deaths, and instead to allege that the victims themselves, people who had paid to attend the semi-final and support Liverpool, were to blame for misbehaving. The verdict, of accidental death, was never accepted by the families, who campaigned relentlessly for justice before the verdict was finally quashed in December 2012.

    Under Theresa May as home secretary, the government did pay for lawyers to represent the families at the new inquests, at a cost of £63.6m for highly experienced firms of solicitors and teams of senior and junior barristers to fight the case that ran from March 2014 to April 2016, the longest-ever heard by a British jury.

    The families blamed the lengthening of the inquests on South Yorkshire police and individual officers for again refusing to admit failings and seeking to allege misbehaviour by Liverpool supporters, which led to months of fierce adversarial exchanges in court.

    Ultimately the jury determined that the 96 people were unlawfully killed owing to gross negligence manslaughter by the officer in command, Ch Supt David Duckenfield, that South Yorkshire police were culpable of serial failings, and that there was no misbehaviour by supporters that contributed to the dangerous situation.

    Afterwards, the families criticised the South Yorkshire police chief constable, David Crompton, who was subsequently sacked by the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, Alan Billings, over a press release issued to clarify the position. Crompton’s appeal against his dismissal began in the high court on Tuesday.

    Margaret Aspinall, the chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group and whose 18-year-old son James was one of the 96 people killed at Hillsborough, said the families fully support the proposed new law. “We do not want any other families to suffer as we have,” she said. “The police and public bodies must have a duty to tell the truth from the start and bereaved families must have equal funding for lawyers to represent them.”

    The bill will realistically be passed into law only if May’s government adopts it. That will become more likely if it is recommended by Sir James Jones, the former bishop of Liverpool, who is working on an official report for May on lessons to be learned from the Hillsborough families’ experiences.

    Burnham is expected to tell parliament he is disappointed that the Hillsborough verdict has not already led to broad legal reform, and argue that the proposed law is vital for bereaved families, would promote better public administration and improve confidence in the police.

    “The bill fundamentally rebalances the legal and coronial system in favour of ordinary people,” he will say, citing a series of continuing campaigns against injustice. “Until that happens, then the true lesson of Hillsborough will not have been learned.”


    His speech in Parliament yesterday was excellent.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  27. #177  
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    24,156
    Quote Originally Posted by NACNUD View Post
    His speech in Parliament yesterday was excellent.
    It was Duncan, uplifting and inspiring.

    JFT96
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  28. #178  
    Socratease is offline LFC Forums Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    17,418
    Justice For The 96, a time for reflection.

    http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/anno...uests-verdicts





    ,
    Last edited by Socratease; 27-4-17 at 00:15.
    The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  29. #179  
    Socratease is offline LFC Forums Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    17,418
    The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates.
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   

  30. #180  
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,810
    Hillsborough update - May 2017

    Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:30am by Rachel Cerfontyne

    This is the latest update on the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s (IPCC) Hillsborough investigation.

    Since formally referring evidence files to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
    in January this year and concluding the majority of criminal enquiries, we have been focussed on examining over 170 allegations of misconduct. These include complaints from Hillsborough family members and survivors of the disaster, and matters that have been identified during the course of the inquiry.

    Investigative work on the complaints about police actions in the aftermath of the disaster is almost complete. We are now at a stage where the evidence gathered is being considered. These findings will be set out in individual investigation reports, which will form part of a more extensive final report containing comprehensive findings from both our independent and managed investigations.*We expect these to be published after any potential criminal proceedings have concluded.

    The CPS has informed us that it will make charging decisions on the West Midlands Police (WMP) aspect of the IPCC investigation separately to the South Yorkshire Police (SYP) strand.

    It has identified additional investigative work that needs to be completed on the WMP file before fully informed decisions can be made.

    While the CPS has worked with the IPCC throughout the investigation, providing early advice on various aspects, the first opportunity it had to examine the entire evidence file was when we formally referred it in January. This contained material the CPS had not previously seen.*The additional work is well advanced and we expect to finish and submit this by the end of May.

    It is important to note that the CPS intends to deliver all charging decisions on the SYP evidence file within its original six-month timeframe.

    We informed families last month that we had passed a Hillsborough-related allegation about a retired SYP officer who was on duty at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final to Durham Constabulary. The force has since informed us that its enquiries are now on hold and will resume after the main CPS charging decisions have been made.

    The disclosure team is making good progress and remains on track to provide material to the CPS within agreed deadlines. This process is being undertaken in line with legislation ahead of decisions on any potential prosecutions.
    *
    Quick reply to this message   Report Post   



Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •