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Thread: The Road to Justice....... NEW - Verdict to be announced 11am 26th April

  1. #61  
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    Hillsborough families to sue Kelvin MacKenzie over 'reckless' coverage

    Former Sun editor faces claim that he was 'indifferent to truth' after disaster at football ground in which 96 people died


    Mark Townsend

    The Observer, Saturday 16 February 2013 20.52 GMT



    Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of the Sun newspaper, is to be sued by the Hillsborough families. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty


    Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of the Sun, faces being sued for malfeasance over his newspaper's coverage of the Hillsborough football disaster.

    Lawyers have indicated that they will issue a civil claim against the 66-year-old whose front-page story, headlined "The Truth", gave credence to a smear campaign and cover-up orchestrated by police in the wake of the tragedy, in which 96 people died. Although MacKenzie offered "profuse apologies" last September after the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel exposed the article's allegations as wholly unfounded, lawyers for the families also accuse him of adopting a different approach privately.

    One lawyer for the Hillsborough Families Support Group said that despite public displays of contrition by the individuals and groups implicated in the 1989 disaster, the reaction to the panel's damning report was disappointing.

    He said: "We have written to all these people asking what their proposals are, and none of them, none of them, have said: 'Look, can we talk in order to find out how we can take responsibility for what we did?'

    "It's not just Kelvin MacKenzie – the South Yorkshire police should be coming forward to take responsibility, so should the FA, so should Sheffield Wednesday [at whose ground the game was staged]. It's not enough just to say we paid damages, all of which were tiny amounts, and not to take responsibility now." Families received payouts as low as £3,500 for the deaths of loved ones, sums later dwarfed by settlements to policemen, who were awarded up to £330,000 after suffering post-traumatic stress from witnessing the crush on the stadium terracing.

    A meeting at Liverpool's Anfield Road ground last Sunday, attended by many families of the victims, heard details of the civil claims that will be levelled at individuals and organisations involved in the cover-up. One of the targets is MacKenzie, whose newspaper falsely alleged that drunken fans urinated on police who were resuscitating the dying and picked the pockets of the dead.

    MacKenzie did not issue an unequivocal apology in the 23 years until the panel report prompted David Cameron to condemn the "despicable untruths" in the Sun story. Lawyers – who will meet tomorrow to discuss their next steps – believe MacKenzie is guilty of malfeasance, which is legally defined as intentional conduct that is wrongful. They say they do not have to prove he knew the material was not true, simply that "he was recklessly indifferent as to whether it was true or not".

    The families are very keen to press ahead with civil claims, even before fresh inquests into the deaths begin. The original accidental death verdicts were quashed by the high court in December.

    Part of their action will include damages claims against South Yorkshire police following the emergence of new medical evidence that shows that most of those who died suffered and did not die quickly, as had been initially contested.

    Trevor Hicks, the chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, who lost two teenage daughters in the disaster, launched a legal action in 1992 to determine whether compensation was payable for the pain and suffering of those who died.

    At the time, South Yorkshire police argued that there was no pre-death suffering because the then available medical evidence indicated that victims would have lost consciousness within seconds before they died.

    It is now established that the courts' decision to agree with South Yorkshire police was based on inaccurate information, and that 58 of the dead might have been saved had the authorities reacted differently.

    Meanwhile, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has begun recruiting a team of up to 100 to work on the criminal inquiry into police corruption surrounding Hillsborough.

    It is also setting up an independent "challenge panel" which will advise the investigations and the Crown Prosecution Service as it weighs evidence against officers. A source said that the panel had yet to encounter any obstruction in its search for the disclosure of fresh evidence, adding: "So far, everybody has been helpful." .

    A spokesman for the Football Association said it would not comment because it had not been issued with an official civil claim. Neither South Yorkshire police nor MacKenzie replied to requests for a response.
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    Exclusive: England's top lawyer & Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer on why action must be swift on Hillsborough

    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2LiJjXdtG
    THE HILLSBOROUGH investigation is so important prosecutors have established a unique set of arrangements, England’s most senior lawyer told the ECHO.




    Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said it was a “highly significant” case and because families of the 96 who died in the disaster had waited “too long” the Crown Prosecution Service had broken its usual mould for big investigations.

    He also told the ECHO, in an exclusive interview, he saw no reason why the new inquest into the 1989 tragedy cannot proceed in tandem with investigations into the disaster and the cover-up.

    Last week Lord Justice Goldring was appointed as the coroner for the new inquests – something made possible by the historic quashing of the “accidental death” verdicts in December.

    Mr Starmer said: “I met the families and the view, as I understand it, is that they would much rather the inquest and the investigation proceeded in parallel rather than sequentially – and I agree. I think if we all manage this carefully we ought to be able to ensure that the investigation can proceed and the inquest can proceed at the same time. Obviously that is a question for the coroner. But we now know who the coroner is. I have indicated that I want an early meeting with the coroner to discuss this amongst other issues.

    “If there does come a point when we have to ask the coroner not to proceed then we will have to deal with that when it arises. But at the moment we are planning to ensure that does not happen.”

    Mr Starmer’s role, as the man in charge of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), will be to decide who should face criminal charges.

    Jon Stoddart, the former Durham chief constable, is leading the probe into the deaths of the 96 while the Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking at the huge cover-up which laid the blame on Liverpool fans and hid the truth.

    Mr Starmer said he could not yet put a timescale on when decisions on prosecutions would be made.

    “I can commit to working as swiftly as is appropriate. I can totally understand why the families want a timetable around all this, rather than individuals and organisations saying ‘we’ll proceed as quickly as we can’.

    “Both the IPCC and Jon Stoddart intend to draw up investigation plans. So that will set out how they intend to progress their investigations. What we do is in some ways dependent on that.”

    But he insisted the CPS was already immersed in the case and had taken special steps to speed up progress.

    “My starting point, as I’ve said to the families, is that they have waited far too long for appropriate action to be taken in this case. That is why at an early stage I decided the Crown Prosecution Service would be involved from the outset. Normally we would expect to be involved after an investigation is complete.

    “But I could see that we could ensure things happened more quickly if we were involved at the outset and that we could start reviewing some of the available material now rather than waiting for it to emerge at the end of the investigation. I think it has been welcomed by the families as far as I have been able to ascertain.”

    He has also told the IPCC and Stoddart that they will have lawyers available whenever they need them.

    A team of four lawyers were already looking at available material.

    “We will have to review the size of that team as the material emerges. There may come a point where we need more than that. Within that team I have got two lawyers who are accredited lawyers for dealing with cases where people have died as a result of contact with the police – and contact here means any involvement by the police that can be linked to the death of an individual. They are dedicated to this case which, again, is pretty unusual from our point of view. We normally have lawyers carrying a case load.”

    Mr Starmer said he believes decisions on prosecutions need not all be made at the same time.

    “I think we could phase the decisions. In some cases we would want to wait until the end of investigations to take all prosecutorial decisions in one go at the end of the exercise.I think we can take a different approach here. I think there are some issues on which we could reach decisions before others and, therefore, we can phase it and that means obviously that if we can take some decisions earlier than others we will be in a position to do so. And it may well be, to take an example, that the investigation into what happened before the event will be completed before the investigation into what happened after.

    “At the moment I don’t see why we can’t make each decision as it comes up rather than waiting for them all to be made at the same time. And I think that will help because at least the families will see that things are happening and that decisions are being made.”

    He said he could not promise prosecutions – but added: “This is a really important case. It’s a highly significant case. We will approach it in the highly professional way that you and anybody else will expect. And we will apply the legal tests to any decisions we make.

    “We are bound as independent prosecutors to make a decision independently and impartially and that’s what we will do. But I don’t underestimate the significance of the case and the importance of the case.”

    Last year families called for a super prosecutor to be put in charge of the investigations. But the idea was met with resistance from the IPCC which is keen to maintain its independence. Mr Starmer said he did not believe this to be a problem.

    “I don’t think identifying a particular person in a lead role is critical to this.”

    He said it was vital the different strands were coordinated and that families were not “passed from pillar to post”.

    “I think the model we have set up achieves that. I think the families are reasonably comfortable with the model.

    “We have designed it to ensure that the teams working on this are cooperating as far as possible.”

    Instead of a super prosecutor being appointed a “challenge panel” is being set up which will see distinguished individuals keeping a watchful eye over the case..

    “We are discussing it with representatives of the families,” said Mr Starmer. “I think I am safe in saying there is a high level of agreement in principle as to the panel. There is a good deal of agreement as to the terms of reference. There is a discussion going on as to who the panel members might be. But they are productive positive discussions. I don’t think we are very far away.

    He said he had been touched by the devotion of the families.

    “I think the families are quite incredible. And let’s be clear it’s through their persistence that we are where we are now. And that is a tribute to each of them and what they have done in the intervening years. There is no doubt about that.”

    What if officers refuse to testify at Hillsborough inquests

    DIRECTOR of public prosecutions Keir Starmer said he is not concerned about possible lack of cooperation from police officers at the new inquests.

    Under the rules of coroners courts individuals can refuse to answer questions if they believe they may later face criminal action.

    Mr Starmer said: “I know some families have got an anxiety that some police officers might not answer questions in the inquest – and they might give as their reason that we as prosecutors have not made a decision into them. I think we have got to be realistic here. If we were to make a decision that we were going to charge an individual I don’t think that would increase the likelihood that that individual would cooperate with the inquest.

    “If we took a decision that we were not going to charge an individual, we would have to say in the same breath ‘but we will review it at the end of the inquest’.

    “Because if any new evidence emerged at the inquest we would want to take it into account and we have, in the past, reversed a decision that we had taken before the inquest having looked at the evidence at the inquest.

    “So, whichever way you look at it, a decision by the prosecutor either to charge or not charge I don’t think solves the issue of whether or not individuals will refuse to testify. That’s one of the reasons that my view would be that the inquests should happen as swiftly as the coroner thinks appropriate. And I won’t be asking him to slow down or adjourn unless it becomes critical to criminal proceedings.”


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2LiIsVKwC
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    Surrey Police Commissioner issues apology for blaming fans for Hillsborough disaster

    by David Bartlett, Liverpool Echo
    Feb 19 2013



    A POLICE Commissioner has been forced to apologise for saying “fans rushing out of pubs towards Leppings Lane at the last minute” were partly to blame for the Hillsborough disaster.

    Surrey’s Police Commissioner Kevin Hurley made the remarks in an interview with his local newspaper.

    He used the 1989 disaster which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans as an example of why he believed fast-tracking of junior officers should not be introduced.

    Yesterday he was forced to apologise for his comments, and claimed he had made an error.

    Sheila Coleman, of Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said it was frightening that Mr Hurley was in charge of a police force.

    She said: “He is ignorant of the facts, and has just bought into the old myths.

    “He needs to do a bit of reading and forget his prejudices and bias instead of repeating the lies.”

    The Epsom Guardian said Mr Hurley had blamed the Hillsborough disaster on “an inexperienced fast track police officer who had opened the exit gate without then providing a police presence to guard entry to the stadium”. The paper said Mr Hurley had claimed the “other two key facts were fans rushing out of pubs towards Leppings Lane at the last minute and the design of the Sheffield Wednesday stadium itself”.

    Mr Hurley was referring to Ch Supt David Duckenfield who ordered the opening of the Leppings Lane gate.

    He was an experienced police officer with 26 years’ service, but who had “minimal experience of policing at Hillsborough”.

    The Hillsborough Independent Panel report, which revealed the full facts behind the disaster, was clear that Liverpool fans were in no way to blame. It stated categorically: “The crush at the Leppings Lane turnstiles was not caused by fans arriving late.”


    Mr Hurley, an independent, was elected Surrey’s police commissioner last November.

    He spent 30 years in the police before entering politics.


    Yesterday he said he was wrong to have made the comments adding: “On reflection, in making my point about skills and expertise in policing, I understand I made that comment in error. My intention in raising the example of the Hillsborough tragedy was not to criticise supporters, but to draw attention to the risks to public safety – including that of fans at football matches – that could arise from the plan to reduce the level of experience required to reach superintendent rank in the police service to just two years, rather than 16-20 years which is the norm.

    “It is essential that the people in charge of major policing operations such as football matches are experienced and competent.

    “Let me apologise again for any distress that my comments may have caused. My intent is to make fans safer, not criticise them.”


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2LiKSQdKr
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    22 February 2013 Last updated at 20:21



    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...46#TWEET620943




    South Yorkshire's chief constable accused a group representing Hillsborough Disaster victims and their families of lying, it has emerged.

    David Crompton made the comments in an email days before the publication of the Hillsborough report in September.

    He said the families' "version of certain events has become 'the truth' even though it isn't".

    Mr Crompton apologised for any offence caused but has not specified what falsehoods he was referring to.

    Mr Crompton emailed the force's Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt and head of media Mark Thompson on 8 September, four days before the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report was released.

    The email has been released by the county's police and crime commissioner, Shaun Wright, following a Freedom of Information request.

    'We'll be roadkill'

    In the email, Mr Crompton asked for a meeting with Mr Holt and Mr Thompson to discuss launching a web page about Hillsborough with links to documents including previous apologies and memos.

    He said: "We then publicise it on Twitter. In effect it amounts to the case for the defence.

    "One thing is certain - the Hillsborough Campaign for Justice will be doing their version... in fact their version of certain events has become 'the truth' even though it isn't.

    "I just have the feeling that the media 'machine' favours the families and not us, so we need to be a bit more innovative in our response to have a fighting chance otherwise we will just be roadkill."

    The email was released by the new police and crime commissioner
    Police Commissioner Wright said he had informed the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the home secretary of the existence of the email and was "disappointed at the use of such language".

    In a statement, Mr Crompton said: "It was never intended to cause any offence and I apologise if it has done so.

    "Nor was it intended to challenge the integrity and views of those who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster.

    "Following the publication of the panel's report I said in the most forthright terms that I supported the findings and that is still my position."

    The BBC asked South Yorkshire Police what Mr Crompton's intentions were at the time he wrote the email and what he thought the families had been untruthful about, but was told he was unavailable for further comment.

    Margaret Aspinall, who lost her son James at Hillsborough, said: "I think it's an absolute disgrace.

    "We have been used to nasty comments in the past anyway so it doesn't surprise me whatsoever."

    She said she did not accept Mr Crompton's apology.




    I wouldn't accept it either....
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    South Yorkshire police chief warned by IPCC after accusing Hillsborough campaigners of lying

    John Siddle
    Feb 26 2013



    Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton




    SOUTH Yorkshire’s chief constable was today warned by the police watchdog after accusing Hillsborough disaster campaigners of lying.

    David Crompton stated that the "Hillsborough Campaign for Justice's…version of certain events had become the truth even though it isn't” in an email four days before the publication of the independent panel’s report into the disaster in September.

    A freedom of information request revealed the email was sent to the force’s assistant chief constable Andy Holt and head of media Mark Thompson on September 8.

    In the email Mr Crompton talks of preparing what "amounts to the case for the defence” because “one thing is certain – the Hillsborough Campaign for Justice will be doing their version”.




    The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it had written to Mr Crompton “to express concerns” over the email.

    Emails and supporting documentation were sent to the watchdog by South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright last month.

    IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said "The IPCC has considered the content of these emails and documentation carefully.


    “The majority of it raises no issues, but there was, however, one email from the Chief Constable which caused me concern. It referred to preparing what "amounts to the case for the defence” and stated that the "Hillsborough Campaign for Justice's…version of certain events had become the truth even though it isn't”.

    “I consider that this is at best ill judged, and at worst offensive and upsetting. I have written to Chief Constable Crompton to express these views.”

    “Families and individuals affected by the Hillsborough tragedy, along with the wider public, will rightly be concerned over the apparent attitude displayed by this communication within the highest ranks of the force which is currently under investigation in relation to the actions of its officers and staff around the disaster.”

    The IPCC said the matter did not constitute a referral and was sent to the watchdog on the grounds of “transparency”.

    Mr Long added: “These regrettable actions are now a matter for the Police and Crime Commissioner of South Yorkshire. T

    “The IPCC has written to the PCC Wright, to alert him to the fact that, whilst these e mails have serious implications for public confidence, they do not amount to recordable conduct and the IPCC does not require a formal referral.

    “I have indicated to PCC Wright that it is his responsibility to decide what further action is appropriate.”

    Mr Crompton apologised for any offence caused but has not specified what falsehoods he was referring to.

    Campaigner Margaret Aspinall said she would not accept the apology.

    “I’m absolutely appalled but it doesn’t surprise me. They’ve always talked about us this way.”


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2M0NrU1Vz
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    Steve Issues Warning to David Crompton(March 04, 2013)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Courtesy of the Press Association

    Liverpool MP, Steve Rotheram has responded to reports in the star on Sunday that South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, David Crompton, was in contact with Sir Norman Bettison in the days leading up to the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report.

    Steve explained, "‘Damage limitation’ discussions at senior ranks within the police services of South and West Yorkshire in the lead-up to the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report smack as being the acts of desperate men, trying to cover their own backs.

    "Communication between senior South Yorkshire Police officers, past and present, in the days before the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report will leave a bitter taste for the families of the 96, but will not come as any great surprise.

    "Serious questions about who said what to whom need to be answered and all texts, emails and correspondence should be fully disclosed".





    http://www.steverotherammp.org.uk/ne...nfo_84821.html
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    Liverpool deputy coroner Doug Fraser stands down in wake of ‘15 minutes of fame’ jibe about Hillsborough families



    by David Bartlett, Liverpool Echo
    Mar 7 2013



    LIVERPOOL’S deputy coroner Doug Fraser has stood down in the wake of his comments suggesting some Hillsborough families wanted to use the loved ones’ inquests for “15 minutes of fame”.

    In September last year, the ECHO revealed how Mr Fraser, a leading Hillsborough Steering Committee solicitor who represented families, made “hurtful remarks” in discussions ahead of the original inquests after the 1989 disaster which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool FC fans.

    The Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP) also found Mr Fraser had suggested the cut- off point for evidence should “probably” be nine minutes earlier than the highly controversial 3.15pm eventually imposed by coroner Dr Stefan Popper.

    It led to demands for Mr Fraser’s resignation as Liverpool’s deputy coroner, a post he has held since 2000.

    Now, five months after the findings of the HIP report, Mr Fraser became the second person to lose their job in the wake of revelations.

    Sir Norman Bettison was forced to resign as West Yorkshire police’s chief constable after becoming engulfed by a scandal about his role in the Hillsborough cover-up.

    He denies any wrongdoing.

    Liverpool coroner Andre Rebello confirmed to the ECHO that Mr Fraser was no longer his deputy.

    But he said he could not discuss the matter any further because of the fresh inquest, which will be held after the original “accidental death” verdict was quashed.

    It is not clear whether Mr Fraser was sacked or resigned from the position of deputy coroner.

    Mr Fraser defiantly said in the days after the revelations in September that he was not planning to resign – but he faced a chorus of outrage from Hillsborough families and politicians.

    Mr Fraser, who is also a senior lawyer at Runcorn- based Silverman Livermore, did not return the ECHO’s requests for a comment.

    Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: “This is good news – another one bites the dust. It does not alter the fact of what he did, but I am glad he has gone.”

    Sheila Coleman, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said: “We welcome the fact that he has gone.

    “We call on him to explain some of his decisions – such as why he suggested a 3.06pm cut-off for evidence.”

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is investigating the role and conduct of solicitors involved in legal proceedings after the Hillsborough disaster.

    The HIP said Mr Fraser’s comments in 1990 to the Sheffield coroner and South Yorkshire police suggested “a surprisingly critical, if not contemptuous, view”.


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/2013/...#ixzz2MqEgPASR
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    New IPCC powers forcing police to give evidence to Hillsborough investigations come into force

    David Bartlett
    Mar 8 2013





    NEW powers allowing the police watchdog to compel officers to attend interviews for the huge Hillsborough investigation came into force yesterday.

    The measure was introduced as part of moves to beef up the Independent Police Complaints Commission as it took on an investigation into the 1989 disaster – the biggest ever inquiry into the actions of police in the UK.

    Thousands of names have been passed to the watchdog as part of its investigation into the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

    These include officers from South Yorkshire Police and around 20 other forces who were present when the 96 Liverpool fans died during a FA Cup semi-final in 1989.

    The IPCC has faced difficulties in the past with cases such as the shooting of Mark Duggan, where officers refused to attend face-to-face interviews. Mr Duggan was killed in London, in August 2011 and his death was the trigger for rioting.




    Under the new powers the watchdog will be able to require serving officers to attend witness interviews and to bring misconduct proceedings if they fail to attend.

    The IPCC already had the power to make officers come to interviews where there were criminal or misconduct allegations, and this has been extended to situations without those claims.


    Read More http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...#ixzz2Mx4TcZXI
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    Hillsborough Independent Panel member Dr Bill Kirkup to lead inquiry into hospital failings


    Mar 12 2013







    A MEMBER of the panel which eventually uncovered the truth surrounding the Hillsborough tragedy has been lined up to lead an independent inquiry hospital failings in Barrow.

    Dr Bill Kirkup, CBE, a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, has been chosen to investigate past failings at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, and how NHS regulators allowed them to happen.

    Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock revealed the news after north west MPs met health minister, Dr Dan Poulter, this morning.

    Of Dr Kirkup's appointment, Mr Woodcock said: "He's obviously very respected so this is a big step forward."




    The Hillsborough Independent Panel was appointed by the government in January 2010 to ensure the maximum possible disclosure of documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster on April 15, 1989.

    At the start of an FA Cup semi-final, a crush on the steel-fenced terraces of Sheffield Wednesday's stadium resulted in the death of 96 Liverpool fans and left hundreds more injured.


    In September, the Hillsborough Independent Panel finally brought the truth to light about what happened that day, vindicating the victims and football supporters after 23 years of blame and exposing official failings and subsequent cover-ups by the authorities.

    Dr Bill Kirkup, one of nine members of the panel, was appointed a consultant in 1986. He held posts in public health and at Newcastle University before moving into NHS management with the former Northern Regional Health Authority.

    In 1999, he was appointed regional director of public health and in 2005 became associate chief medical officer in the Department of Health. Dr Kirkup has also worked on public health and reconstruction in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and was made a CBE in 2008.


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2O6ScuCJN
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    Hillsborough families anger as progress on investigations and inquest slows to 'snail's pace'



    by David Bartlett, Liverpool Echo
    Mar 20 2013


    HILLSBOROUGH families today demanded authorities speed up the progress of fresh inquests and investigations into the 1989 disaster.

    They fear progress has slowed to a “snail’s pace” six months after the Hillsborough Independent Panel report exposed the full truth behind the tragedy that claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool FC fans.

    The report paved the way for fresh investigations and the historical quashing of the “accidental death” inquest verdicts in December.

    But no date has been set for the start of the new inquest hearings, nor has there been an announcement on where they will be held.

    And families believe the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is overseeing the investigation into the huge police cover-up, is being too slow.

    Margaret Aspinall, chair of Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), said: “We have a meeting with the IPCC in early April so we should hear more then.

    “But at the moment I would be lying if I said I am happy with progress.

    “I know there are procedures to go through but I cannot understand why it is taking so long.”

    Barry Devonside, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC), said progress had slowed to a “snail’s pace”.

    He said: “The IPCC is still recruiting investigators. At this rate this could take years and years – and it is just not good enough.”

    Lord Justice Goldring, who will act as coroner for the new inquests, will call legal representatives to a pre-hearing to discuss the arrangements.

    Parties will be notified later this week of the details for the pre-hearing.

    Both the HFSG and HJC agree Liverpool should not be the location of the inquest because they do not want the new verdict to be tainted by accusations of bias.

    Mrs Aspinall said her group would be “quite happy” if the inquests were heard in London because any decision made in the capital could not be accused of being biased.

    She said the group had discussed a couple of potential locations but ruled out Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds or Manchester.

    The HJC favours the North West to ensure families are able to travel to and from home each day.

    Mr Devonside added: “I attended all 80 days of the original inquest in Sheffield – it wasn’t just the expense, it left me with a lot of issues. I really hope the inquests are not in London.”

    A spokesman for the inquest said Lord Justice Goldring wants to hear submissions before making a decision on timing and locations of inquests.

    IPCC asks for understanding over length of time for Hillsborough probe

    THE Independent Police Complaints Commission today admitted its investigation will not be quick.

    IPCC deputy chairman Deborah Glass pleaded for “understanding” from families over the amount of time the investigation, which is looking at the role of more than 2,000 police officers, is taking.

    She said: “I understand that having waited for so long for a full investigation into Hillsborough and its aftermath, the families and survivors want to see quick results.

    “Asking for patience is not something I can do with people who have endured so much over the last 24 years.

    “What I would ask for is understanding that while the IPCC and Jon Stoddart [who is overseeing the criminal probe] want to complete the investigations as quickly as possible, we must ensure they are as thorough as they can possibly be so as not to repeat mistakes of the past.

    “If the investigations result in criminal or misconduct charges we do not want them to fail due to something not being done properly at the outset.

    “This is a huge and complex criminal investigation and it will not be a quick process.

    “We are in regular contact with the families, survivors and complainants to advise them on progress and ensure they understand the task ahead of us.”


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2O6T1XPHw
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    Hi NAC, how are you?

    It's a real dilemma isn't it? We've waited so long for the truth so now we want justice..........but in order to ensure justice is served we need to know that every avenue is fully investigated and every piece of evidence is scrutinised as much as is humanly possible.......

    Have you spoken to Anne recently? How's she doing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFLYINGPIG View Post
    Hi NAC, how are you?

    It's a real dilemma isn't it? We've waited so long for the truth so now we want justice..........but in order to ensure justice is served we need to know that every avenue is fully investigated and every piece of evidence is scrutinised as much as is humanly possible.......

    Have you spoken to Anne recently? How's she doing?


    Morning TFP......all ok except for this dam weather....hope you are ok as well.....



    no I haven't but as far as I know she's ok....
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    Hillsborough pre-inquest hearing to be held in London on April 25



    Steve Graves
    Mar 22 2013




    THE families of the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster today learned the first stage of fresh inquests into their deaths will be held next month.

    A pre-inquest hearing will be held in London on April 25, the ECHO understands.

    The move comes after the original verdicts were quashed by the High Court in December after an application by Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

    In September the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report said 41 of the people who died in the 1989 tragedy could have been saved.

    Concerns were raised over various aspects of the original inquest process, including the 3.15pm cut-off imposed by then-coroner Dr Stefan Popper.

    A pre-inquest hearing usually involves a coroner setting out the terms and scope of a planned inquest, with family members and other interested parties given an opportunity to raise queries during the hearing itself.

    It is understood there will be a live video link to Liverpool during the process.


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2OH70f0pV
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    Finally things seem to be moving.
    24 years later than they should but at least they are happening.

    Let's hope this time the 96 get the fair, thorough and proper inquest they deserve.
    YNWA
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    Quote Originally Posted by NACNUD View Post
    Morning TFP......all ok except for this dam weather....hope you are ok as well.....



    no I haven't but as far as I know she's ok....
    Hi NAC, I'm good thanks.

    What is going on with this weather?? The worlds coming to an end mate! ;-)

    Great to see some movement on the inquest finally!

    Take care and I'll see u soon :-)
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    Hillsborough families welcome first date for fresh inquests



    by David Bartlett, Liverpool Echo
    Mar 23 2013



    HILLSBOROUGH families today welcomed the announcement that the first stage of fresh inquests into the deaths of their loved ones will be held next month.

    A pre-inquest hearing will be held in London on April 25.

    The ECHO can reveal that Christina Lambert QC, who specialises in clinical negligence and inquests, will be the lead barrister to the inquest.

    She will perform a questioning role, similar to that Robert Jay QC during the Leveson inquiry.

    She will be supported by barrister Jonathan Hough, who includes professional liability in his area of expertise.

    Law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse will handle the administration of the inquest.

    The pre-hearing will decide the location and timings of the new inquests.

    Jenni Hicks, deputy chair of Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: “It is great to have a date for this first stage.

    “We have been waiting 24 years to get to where we want to get to.”

    There will be a live video link to Liverpool during the hearing.

    Elkan Ambrahamson, of Liverpool-based law firm Broudie Jackson Canter, who acts for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said: “Having the date for the hearing is a great start. It is the first step in the process.”

    He believed the inquest could take between six months and a year to conduct.

    He said the timings of when the inquest could get under way would depend on what the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Jon Stoddart, who is conducting a criminal inquiry, said.

    Director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer has previously told the ECHO he sees no reason why the inquest should be delayed by the separate investigations.

    The move comes after the original verdicts were quashed by the high court in December after an application by Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

    In September the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report said 41 of the people who died in the 1989 tragedy could have been saved.

    Concerns were raised over various aspects of the original inquest process, including the 3.15pm cut-off imposed by then-coroner Dr Stefan Popper.

    A spokesman for the inquests said: “The families and other interested parties have today been sent letters informing them that a pre-inquest hearing will take place in London on April 25.

    “As the letters make clear, the coroner will hear submissions on the timing and location of the inquests themselves before making any decision. Further details and arrangements for press and public attendance will be issued shortly.”


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2OXXRU4IY
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    Hillsborough coroner Dr Stefan Popper to be questioned over ordering alcohol checks



    Exclusive by David Bartlett, Liverpool Echo
    Mar 25 2013





    THE coroner who conducted the original Hillsborough inquests will be questioned to establish what contact he had with police officers and why he ordered checks on the blood alcohol levels of those who died.


    In the letter, the IPCC also revealed it expects its probe into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans at Hillsborough and the subsequent police cover-up will take more than two years.



    The IPCC outlined the timetable of their investigations and details of when police officers will be questioned and the progress of the inquiry.

    Jon Stoddart, the former Durham chief constable whose criminal probe into the 1989 disaster is running alongside the IPCC inquiry, has told families his investigation will also take two to three years.

    The ECHO can today exclusively reveal:

    The IPCC is in the process of securing material held by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and others;

    Former Merseyside chief constable Norman Bettison could be quizzed by investigators as early as May;

    The IPCC has already secured all evidential material held by South Yorkshire Police.

    All material secured will be transferred from a current major incident room to a new investigation building at Warrington once it is complete.

    No contemporaneous documents were disclosed to the Hillsborough Independent Panel concerning the briefing given to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Home Secretary the morning after the disaster at the 1989 FA Cup semi- final.

    Cabinet papers did reveal that in an exchange about the Taylor report into the tragedy, Mrs Thatcher expressed her concern that the “broad thrust” constituted “devastating criticism of the police”.

    The ECHO can also reveal that the IPCC has appointed Mike Benbow, its director of quality and standards, as director for the Hillsborough investigation.

    Mr Benbow set out the investigation plan, including updated terms of reference, in the 10-page document sent to families on Friday.

    In his letter, he explained that the IPCC has now secured all evidential material in possession of South Yorkshire Police, whose discredited original investigation sought to blame fans for the tragedy.

    Although the IPCC has been carrying out preliminary work, the plan sets out next month as the effective start-date of the probe – the biggest in the organisation’s history.

    Mr Benbow also set out that the IPCC will consider preliminary interviews with members of the “Wain investigation” as early as May.

    Former Merseyside chief constable Norman Bettison was part of the team that helped write the “Wain Report”, which placed significant emphasis on ticketless fans, alcohol and crowd behaviour.

    The IPCC is examining whether the “Wain Report” gave an “accurate and complete picture”.

    It is the first time a timetable has been outlined and it is of crucial importance as it may have an impact on the new inquests that will be held into the deaths.



    Elkan Abrahamson, who represents a number of families from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said Mr Stoddart had told families in a meeting about a month ago that he expected his investigation to take between two and three years.

    He said: “The view of the families is that they want this done quickly after waiting 24 years, but they don’t want it done sloppily. I would describe the families as frustrated yet patient.”

    The IPCC has agreed to set up a “challenge panel” to be privy to the innermost workings of the investigation. But it is yet to be established.

    Mr Abrahamson said there was disagreement with the IPCC, which wants to make panel members sign a confidentiality clause.

    “Without public scrutiny, this can’t be effective.

    “If we can’t have public scrutiny, there is no point in having it.”

    On April 25, Lord Justice Goldring, who is coroner to the new inquests, will conduct a pre-inquest hearing where he will listen to submissions about the possible location and timings for the new inquests.

    The new inquest was made possible by the historic quashing of the “accidental death” verdicts in the High Court last December.

    That followed the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which cast series question marks over the validity of many of the medical claims made at the original inquest, including the highly controversial 3.15pm cut- off point for evidence used by Dr Popper.

    Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer has previously told the ECHO that he sees no reason why the investigations cannot run in tandem with the inquest to avoid any further delays.

    “The [IPCC] plan may change subject to any views or requirements of the coroner,” explained Mr Benbow in his letter.

    “Due to its complexity and based on what is currently known, the overall investigation is likely to take two years from the time the inquiry is fully established to completion.

    “Where possible, preliminary interviews will be carried out with key individuals. However, any interviews of those individuals who form part of the IPCC independent investigation, the Jon Stoddart investigation and the coroner’s investigation, will have to be carefully coordinated.”

    He said progress would be reviewed after six months, which would allow him and Mr Stoddart to provide more accurate timescales for each part of the investigations and realistic completion plans.

    The IPCC launched its investigation after the full scale of the police cover-up in the wake of the 1989 Sheffield FA Cup semi-final disaster was revealed in September by the independent panel.

    It is broadly looking at the aftermath of the disaster – but will also examine the role of South Yorkshire police leading up to the tragedy.

    It will probe the role of up to 2,444 police officers involved in the disaster and its aftermath.

    The independent panel revealed the statements of 164 police officers were amended to shift blame away from police onto fans.


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2OXYD7pRR




    Really hope they finally find some sort of evidence that she knew about the cover up and probably instigated alot of it.....


    Let's also hope that as many as possible make it to this years Memorial service next month and that all the Hillsborough groups are allowed to say a few words....please be there if you can........JFT.96.
    Last edited by NACNUD; 25-3-13 at 10:09.
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    http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/Pages/pr...ebettison.aspx

    IPCC finds case to answer for gross misconduct against Sir Norman Bettison
    Main Content
    ​28 March 2013


    The Independent Police Complaints Commission has concluded Sir Norman Bettison would have a case to answer for gross misconduct following an investigation into an allegation that he attempted to influence a referral by West Yorkshire Police Authority (WYPA).

    The IPCC independently investigated Sir Norman's actions in relation to the process by which complaints about his actions in relation to the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster were referred to the IPCC.

    The investigation focussed on contact between Sir Norman, Fraser Sampson (the Chief Executive of WYPA) and Mark Burns-Williamson (Chair of WYPA) and whether there was any attempt by Sir Norman to improperly influence, intercept, delay and/or distort the deliberations of the Authority.

    While it was evident Sir Norman made no attempt to prevent the referral happening, the IPCC investigation concluded that he attempted to manipulate the public perception of the referral process for his own self interest.

    As a result the IPCC concluded Sir Norman had a case to answer for discreditable conduct and abuse of authority, breaches which, if proven in a disciplinary hearing, would amount to gross misconduct as they would justify dismissal.

    However as Sir Norman left the police service in October 2012 he cannot face a disciplinary hearing in which the evidence could be tested. Instead the IPCC is publishing its findings for the public to judge.

    IPCC Deputy Chair Deborah Glass said: "The Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath have become synonymous in the public consciousness with allegations of police attempts to cover-up the truth, manipulate messages and deflect blame. Sir Norman is facing investigation in relation to allegations that he played a key part in this. We do not pre-judge the findings of that investigation. However, given the effect that those allegations have had on the public perception of him and policing generally, his attempts to manipulate and manage the perception of the referral of complaints about him, for his own self-interest, is particularly concerning. It is also conduct that falls far short of what should be expected of any Chief Constable.

    "It was the IPCC's view at the start of the investigation, as it was the view of his Police Authority, that Sir Norman's actions, if proven, fell so far short of what is expected of a Chief Constable that dismissal would be justified. The evidence uncovered during the investigation supports that view.

    "While we cannot bring this case to misconduct proceedings, we can publish the evidence and our conclusions, so that the public can judge for themselves. This case should also serve as a salutary reminder to chief officers everywhere of how much public confidence in policing is damaged when the conduct of leaders is called into question. "



    Disgrace!!!!!!!!
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    Disgrace is one word NAC!

    I'm so sick of hearing that he can't be investigated because he's retired.........the fact that its been proved that this cover up was orchestrated at the highest levels should mean that the perpetrators cannot avoid justice, and he should therefore be subject to a full investigation with the minimum punishment being loss of his pension.

    If the guy doesn't lose his knighthood then......actually I don't know what to say as this whole thing is a national disgrace and with every new story that's uncovered it plummets to new depths of disgrace.......

    Don't know how he sleeps at night!
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFLYINGPIG View Post
    Disgrace is one word NAC!

    I'm so sick of hearing that he can't be investigated because he's retired.........the fact that its been proved that this cover up was orchestrated at the highest levels should mean that the perpetrators cannot avoid justice, and he should therefore be subject to a full investigation with the minimum punishment being loss of his pension.

    If the guy doesn't lose his knighthood then......actually I don't know what to say as this whole thing is a national disgrace and with every new story that's uncovered it plummets to new depths of disgrace.......

    Don't know how he sleeps at night!



    Morning TFP........


    Well I would like to use stronger words but I don't think it's allowed in here....

    The police should not be allowed to be covered by these laws....if they are then we should be to....but what is annoying me more is that he was given the nod by one of his 'buddies' and decieded to retire even though he had previously said that he wouldn't be until March I think it was this year....he should not have been allowed to and he should have been suspended pending futher inquiries and his 'mates' imho should now be charged in perverting the course of justice as well.....
    Last edited by NACNUD; 29-3-13 at 12:05.
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    You can read the full report here.....

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...0252-33076998/
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    Quote Originally Posted by NACNUD View Post
    Morning TFP........


    Well I would like to use stronger words but I don't think it's allowed in here....

    The police should not be allowed to be covered by these laws....if they are then we should be to....but what is annoying me more is that he was given the nod by one of his 'buddies' and decieded to retire even though he had previously said that he wouldn't be until March I think it was this year....he should not have been allowed to and he should have been suspended pending futher inquiries and his 'mates' imho should now be charged in perverting the course of justice as well.....
    You're to much of a lady to know any nasty words NAC

    I've said before and I'll say again, the enormity of this cover up should mean that the rule book gets thrown in the bin, and anyone found to have lied, deliberately withheld evidence or smeared the victims should be subject to the full force of the law, regardless of their current "employment status"
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    Another reason why we carry on fighting for Justice not only for the Families but also for the survivors...


    Please beware you may find this upsetting.........Justice for all.....



    That time of year.

    People say "get on with it, get over it" and such other things - but those who were that day can get on with it just not get over it. 96 people never even had the choice to get on with it or get over it. Their lives were ended prematurely in the most horrific and cruel way. To make things worse, a momentous establishment cover up aided and abetted by media lies blamed them for their own deaths and tarnished those who did survive that day. They branded us murderers who robbed the dead and urinated on the police and it took almost a quarter of a century for the truth to come out.





    I can never explain properly what it was like in Pen 4 that day. Only that it was truly horrible and that the images have never left me. It is always there and the flashbacks come from nowhere. They don't sneak up. They just attack. The heat, the noise and that smell. The smell of fear, of vomit, of death. Those in Pen 3 or 4 can tell you. Every time I have a flashback, it is like it is happening all over again. Unless you were there you can't understand and nor could you ever possibly. That is not a criticism. I would not wish that horror on anyone. But I have it and so do countless others. They are and were all decent people who probably were as excited as me about watching a football match. Instead of seeing a match, their lives were changed forever. A football field became a killing field.



    In fairness, nobody could ever have envisaged that a day that started full of fun would have turned to despair with the setting of the sun. Why would you? You tend to trust people in authority, to look after you, to protect you, to serve you and to uphold the law. We were let down. Simple as. We were let down on the day by a catastrophic failure of the authorities to be able to cope, to organise, to deal with events. A catalogue of preventable errors conspired together and it led to 96 deaths. We were let down afterwards when they callously fabricated their web of lies to deflect the fact they had been criminally negligent away from themselves and to push the blame onto us.





    Those in charge froze. I don't mean young coppers who tried to do their best to save lives, or the St John's kids who were way out of their depth in trying to treat the injured and the dying. I mean the decision makers, those in charge. Those who prevented ambulances from coming onto the pitch. Those who would not let the fire brigade in with bolt croppers to cut down the fences. Those who pushed escaping fans back into the pens. The fans were more organised. Impromptu rescue teams, people who did not even know each other were trying to save lives. Clawing at steel fences, kicking down advertising hoardings to use as stretchers, dragging and ferrying people across the pitch trying to administer first aid. Fans in the top tier dragging people up. Without them, there would have been many more fatalities. The police stood in a line across the middle of the pitch. I know because I collapsed in front of it. At that time I didn't know or care if I would ever move again. One dozy b------ threatened to arrest me and another lad as we kicked down a hoarding at the Forest end. I had collapsed again and the other fan - to this day I don't know who he was - dragged me to my feet. There was this young Forest lad, can't have been more than 10, his fingers wrapped around the gaps in the fences. Snarling, his face full of hatred. " I hope you all die you scouse b-------" he said. I was too dazed and stunned to react. I just looked at him. The lad who had dragged me up was crying and was trying to get to to him. He swung his arm at the fence . I pushed him away and he said to me "come on" and started kicking at the hoardings right in front of this kid. On autopilot, I just joined in. I didn't really know what I was doing. I was dizzy and could not breathe properly, but I kicked with him. This copper came over and told us if we didn't stop he would have us both arrested. I told him to ---- off and just carried on kicking the hoarding with the other lad until we got it off. We then ran back down to the Leppings Lane end. I don't know why, but I stuffed my programme in my mouth as we ran down. I didn't know where else to put it. I have seen that clip on TV occasionally. They always play that clip on the news. The photo of us was in the Daily Mirror. I never knew it existed for 20 years until a neighbour fetched it round when the Mirror did it's tribute. Running back, I kept turning round to look at this man on the board. He was unconscious, could have been dead already..I don't know. His head was bouncing on the board as we were running and I was worried we would hurt him. Silly now when I think of it. We tried but there was nothing could be done..or was there? I don't know.Was he one of the 41? I never thought about that until the report came out. I don't know who he was. If I ever did, I would tell his family that we tried to help him and we did our best. Not that that would be any consolation though. There has been a void in their lives ever since that day, an empty space at the table at Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions. Memories that were never even created.





    I don't remember any of the game to this day. I remember going unconscious in the crush for the first time, the weight of the crush pushing me to the floor. I had already seen one person die by then. A big big lad. His mate was alot smaller than him and he had his arm hooked under his mates chin trying to hold him up so he could get air into him and actually trying to push the crowd back with his other, screaming at people to help. I was watching him die literally a foot away from me, powerless to move myself as I was fighting for every breath. I somehow managed to cross my arms to try and get a little extra space for my lungs but they felt like they were going to explode and I knew I was going down. My next memory is of being dragged up by my hair, someone hauled me up to my feet by my hair. I was like a rag doll. My eyes opened only briefly and then closed again. When I woke up again, I was trapped right at the end of a crash barrier. My left arm was on the corner, my elbow digging into my ribs. A lad had got his shirt hooked on the end of it and it was choking him. He asked me to help him unhook his shirt. I tried but I could not move and I was telling him to rip it. A white T shirt. There was a man nearby and he was the wrong way round over this barrier. My eyes closed again.The next time I woke up, I was upright but in a different place in the pen, right by the fence. I was the wrong way round and a man's arm was across my throat. My feet were not even touching the floor and the weight of the crush was keeping this arm across my throat. I could not breathe and it felt like my eyeballs were bulging out my sockets. I was pleading with this man to move his arm, tears streaming down my face. I saw him. His tongue was lolled out of his mouth and he had vomit and dribble coming out. He was dead and I was hanging off his arm. I gave up at that point. I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to die and I was so calm and strangely enough, I was not scared. I just let the last of the air out my body and closed my eyes.







    I suppose you can describe it as a near death experience. I was moving down this tunnel like thing, it was grey and it had yellow criss cross almost like whale bones as hoops in it like arches. I was not walking or floating, I was just moving down this tunnel and there was music. I could hear music. It was abit like when someone puts a sea shell to your ear. One minute I could hear, the next I couldn't. I could hear a man screaming that there was a girl. He was screaming there was a girl dying and they had to take the girl. I didn't realise the girl he was screaming for help for was me. Next minute, I could feel warm air on my face but I knew I was not breathing. I also knew I was not going down the tunnel anymore. I woke up on the pitch flat on my back, arms out stretched desperately trying to suck air into my lungs. Gasping. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak. I was just gasping for air and could not get it in quick enough.That was my experience in the pens. Not pleasant..but at least I am still here. Still here to tell the truth about that day. Still able to say it was not like the authorities said it was. I was not drunk. I was not a hooligan. I did not rob the dead and I did not urinate on the police. I went to see a football match. Just like everyone else.
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    Contd.....

    I am not sure if the aftermath would have been made any easier if the truth had been told from the outset. It would not have erased what had happened or my experience of it..but it would have been the truth. The families deserved that from the outset but they never got it. We were herded in like cattle and even in death, the victims and their families were shown no respect. The cover up began before the bodies were even cold. This burning desire for truth and justice, to right the wrongs that the authorities fed to the world is what has driven all involved on for the last 24 years. To correct that piece of history that was deliberately written in a distorted manner. I was quite isolated for many many years living where I do. The world seems to think that only the people of Liverpool suffered. Yes, they carried a huge burden..but many of the victims were not from Liverpool. It took a long time for me to feel able to open my mouth, to get involved in the fight for justice. I read about Anne Williams and her fight for justice for her son Kevin. She had all the evidence that he was not dead by 3.15 like the authorities said everyone was. I didn't know particularly about Kevin's case, I may have seen him in the chaos..who knows..but I was moved by Anne's plight because even though she had the evidence, the corrupt system kept knocking her back..but she would not give in or give up. A mother does that for her child. I knew it was possible he could have been because I knew from my own experiences people were alive after 3.15. So I joined the group Hope for Hillsborough. This was a group that was not like the HFSG as this recognised the plight of survivors, just as the HJC does. Gradually, through their support and the wonderful people I met through that group, I found my voice. Now I have found it, I will never be silent again until we have justice for our 96.



    So, we approach that time of year again. This past year has been huge. The truth is out but we still do not have justice and yet another person, Mr John Glover, has gone to his grave without gaining justice for his lad Ian. This is the time of year where anyone who was there struggles and it only gets worse. I will be in Liverpool at Anfield on 15th April. I will remember that day as we pay our respects to our fellow fans who never made it home. It is because of them and what we went through that football fans today can watch the game in comfort and safety in seats in more modern stadiums. Not herded onto steep terraces in steel pens like animals. Cattle go in pens, not people. Those of us there will reflect on events that day and at least we can say we never gave up. We never have let them walk alone. JFT 96.
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    the truth!

    Jft96
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    Quote Originally Posted by NACNUD View Post
    Contd.....

    I am not sure if the aftermath would have been made any easier if the truth had been told from the outset. It would not have erased what had happened or my experience of it..but it would have been the truth. The families deserved that from the outset but they never got it. We were herded in like cattle and even in death, the victims and their families were shown no respect. The cover up began before the bodies were even cold. This burning desire for truth and justice, to right the wrongs that the authorities fed to the world is what has driven all involved on for the last 24 years. To correct that piece of history that was deliberately written in a distorted manner. I was quite isolated for many many years living where I do. The world seems to think that only the people of Liverpool suffered. Yes, they carried a huge burden..but many of the victims were not from Liverpool. It took a long time for me to feel able to open my mouth, to get involved in the fight for justice. I read about Anne Williams and her fight for justice for her son Kevin. She had all the evidence that he was not dead by 3.15 like the authorities said everyone was. I didn't know particularly about Kevin's case, I may have seen him in the chaos..who knows..but I was moved by Anne's plight because even though she had the evidence, the corrupt system kept knocking her back..but she would not give in or give up. A mother does that for her child. I knew it was possible he could have been because I knew from my own experiences people were alive after 3.15. So I joined the group Hope for Hillsborough. This was a group that was not like the HFSG as this recognised the plight of survivors, just as the HJC does. Gradually, through their support and the wonderful people I met through that group, I found my voice. Now I have found it, I will never be silent again until we have justice for our 96.



    So, we approach that time of year again. This past year has been huge. The truth is out but we still do not have justice and yet another person, Mr John Glover, has gone to his grave without gaining justice for his lad Ian. This is the time of year where anyone who was there struggles and it only gets worse. I will be in Liverpool at Anfield on 15th April. I will remember that day as we pay our respects to our fellow fans who never made it home. It is because of them and what we went through that football fans today can watch the game in comfort and safety in seats in more modern stadiums. Not herded onto steep terraces in steel pens like animals. Cattle go in pens, not people. Those of us there will reflect on events that day and at least we can say we never gave up. We never have let them walk alone. JFT 96.
    My God. I've just read your account with tears in my eyes. You nearly died in that pen, yet once you were rescued, you then helped to carry injured and dying fans on advertising hoardings, while the vast majority of coppers stood in a line across the middle of the pitch looking as if they were ready to do the Okey-Cokey.

    Amazing, isn't it. Yourself, and many others who did similar that day are just civilians, yet Bettison, and others who did jacksiht other than cause the disaster, have got Knighthoods. If that's the case, they are not worth the metal they are cast with!

    There's been millions of words written about that day, but something I read a while back really brought it home to me just how heartless and detached the Police were that day (as well as completely incompetent on a criminal level).
    It was an account of a Catholic priest who had been called to the stadium to help people on a religious level. He said it was about five o'clock when he went to the gymnasium. He described the heartbreaking scene of rows and rows of bodybags laid out on the floor which was bad enough, but he said the scene was compounded by the surreal sight of scores of policemen stood around drinking tea and eating chicken legs!

    Now I've thought about this and tried to see it from the coppers' perspective. Okay, they would have been hungry, probably not eaten anything since breakfast. Then I tried to imagine myself in a room full of human bodybags containing men, women, and children. I'm hungry, no, fricking starving; then someone hands me a cup of tea and a plate of chicken legs. My immediate response would be to throw the hot tea in their face and ram the chicken legs down their effing throat - or, take it outside of the room and eat/drink somewhere else.

    The priest said he had to turn around and walk out because he felt so angry.

    As for my experience that day. I first went to that dreaded ground in 1980 when we played Arsenal in the semi-final. Me and my mate bought tickets for the Leppings Lane terrace - amazingly for face value - from a bloke outside the stands (I think it's the South Stand, the one where the TV cameras were situated).
    Anyway, we got in the ground about 2:50. I don't recall there being too many still outside by then. We went down that awful tunnel only to hit a wall of supporters on the terracing. Normally, back then, you could always force your way through a crowd and get a bit of a speck, but try as we might, we had absolutely no chance. We just couldn't see the match at all, maybe the occasional glimpse of the pitch. I looked across to the sides and noticed how much room there appeared to be. I pointed this out to me mate. As soon as the half-time whistle went we moved back up the tunnel, turned left, and went onto the side terrace. There was so much room that me mate sat on a barrier. We had a cracking view of the second half - shame the match was crap, it finished 0-0. We then endured what felt like 20 replays against the Gunners before they finally beat us at Coventry's ground.

    One thing I've learnt recently about that Leppings Lane end is those cursed lateral fences which sectioned the terracing up into pens weren't put in until 1982. I think that was the main reason why there hadn't been a fatal disaster at that ground before because fans would naturally be able to move sideways and spread out from the centre once the crush of fans increased. We know from accounts that Spurs fans were involved in mega-crushing in that same end in 1981 and only for the coppers actually using their brains and opening the gates in the perimeter fence to allow hundred out, they would have been victims of a Hillsborough disaster themselves.

    One of the reasons given for sectioning up the terrace into 'easier to manage pens,' was so the Police could monitor each section and close access to them when they were deemed 'at capacity.' Good in theory. But there were two more FA Cup semi-finals at that ground between Spurs in 1981 and ours in 1989. On both occasions, the fans in that end complained of terrible crushing in those central pens. Leeds in 1987, there were reports of many fans passing out and receiving broken limbs, ribs, fingers, arms, etc; then us in 1988. Though I did not attend in 1988, many spoke of unbearable crushing in those central pen areas. But from what I've read on those games, the Police DID close access to that tunnel before the match, though obviously not soon enough, allowing too many through that dreadful tunnel.

    I was also surprised - no VERY surprised - to learn that the Police in 1981 had ordered that Gate C to be opened to allow Spurs fans in due to a similar scenario to what happened to us in 1989.

    Although not in attendance in 1988, I heard how the coppers had the approach and entry into the courtyard all boxed off, checking tickets, only allowing so many through to queue up, you know, the 'copperly thing to do.' Police the crowd, organize things.
    Me and my mate (the same lad I went with in 1980) got there nice and early. I had a ticket but he didn't. He bought one outside that stand (a few quid over the odds but he didn't mind) and we went around to queue up at about 1:35.

    Well, when I say queue, organized queues were non-existent. There was just a mass of fans with no filtering system in place. You could count the coppers on one hand. There was about two on horseback but they were useless.
    I said to me mate if we get split up to just make sure you head for the side terracing, don't go down that tunnel. I just remembered 1980 and knew not to go in there.

    We finally got through a turnstile at 2:40 - an hour and five minutes shuffling forward a few feet every ten minutes, it was absolutely crazy with a lot of younger fans getting distressed in the throng, the warm day which felt like mid-summer in the packed crowd. Sure enough, my mate got in at least five minutes before me but he waited at the steps leading up to the terracing at the side. He even mentioned that in the five minutes he had been waiting, less than ten people had passed him, everyone else seemed to be going into the tunnel.

    Once again, the side was nice and comfortable but you could see the central pens were just rammed with people. That should have been the point at which Officer Dibble should have ordered access to that tunnel closed - whether he intended opening Exit Gate C or not.
    Close it, THEN open Gate C, allowing fans access to our side pen and the one on the far side. Then reopen the tunnel and send a dozen Dibbles down and tell the ones right at the back to head back out of the tunnel and move to either side.

    But hey, Nacnud, that's what WE would have done if we were in charge that day, us, just civilians, just ordinary fans. Nah, leave the titled ones in charge, they know what they're doing. They'd do anything for a cup of tea and a chicken leg.

    As fans were being laid out on the pitch two blokes near us went down to the front and told a copper by the gate that they were first aiders and they asked to be let out to try to help. Apparently the copper said, 'There's enough ********** scousers on the pitch as it is.'

    Yet another example of the coldness and emotionless police that day.
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  27. #87  
    NACNUD is online now Justice Campaigner Extraordinaire
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    Hi Gaggzy....

    So very sorry if I've confused people this is not my story it is the story of a lady I have met who is in Anne Williams' group.......it has taken her over 20 years to even be able to talk about what she went through on that day never mind put it in writing....but unfortunatley there are still many survivors who are suffering in silence their lives as well as the families changed forever.....

    I was one of the 'lucky' ones as with not being able to get a ticket stayed at home and watched it on the tele with my family but those scences will always haunt me .....the things that have stayed with me always are Grobbler shouting at the police and trying to get someones attention....people coming over the fences and the police pushing them back in the pens, if I realised something was seriously wrong just by watching a TV screen,how could they not of realised when it was happening in front of them and then as you started to see bodies lying on the pitch and the realization that something very serious had gone wrong and some of those bodies were not moving.....what will also live with me is standing on the Kop after and sobbing and a very kind Salvation Army Lady came and asked me was I ok.I think I went three times I just wanted to be in the ground can't explain why .......and the flowers...so many flowers....I knew a few people who never came home to their families that day.....and it was the day my/our City changed forever......


    Justice for all........

    YNWA
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    Please sign and spread the link....thank you....



    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47770
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    "Liverpool John Moores University has withdrawn the Honorary Fellowship awarded to Norman Bettison in 2004"



    FORMER chief constable Sir Norman Bettison has been stripped of the honorary fellowship given to him by Liverpool John Moores University after a report into his role in the Hillsborough cover up.

    Last month the Independent Police Complaints Commission found Mr Bettison has a case to answer for “discreditable conduct and abuse of authority” in the wake of last year’s Hillsborough revelations.

    A spokesman for the university said: "In light of the conclusions published by the Independent Police Complaints Commission Report (28th March 2013), Liverpool John Moores University has withdrawn the Honorary Fellowship awarded to Sir Norman Bettison in 2004.

    "As previously stated the university would like to commend the families and friends of those who died in the Hillsborough tragedy for the dignity and fortitude they have shown during their lengthy campaign for justice."

    Sheila Coleman, spokeswoman for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said: "It is good to see John Moores has finally seen sense, but it’s not before time.

    "It was remiss of John Moores to have given him an honorary fellowship in the first place when there had been so many questions about his role about Hillsborough."


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/2013/...#ixzz2PyboM6FI
    Last edited by NACNUD; 9-4-13 at 15:30.
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    Liverpool supporters' banner on the Thatcher Hillsborough documents





    *Margaret Thatcher: Her role in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster

    HILLSBOROUGH families today demanded full disclosure of any documents on Margaret Thatcher’s role in the cover-up of the disaster.

    Despite the findings of last year’s Hillsborough Independent Panel report her precise role, and all the views she held, in the immediate aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster remain unclear.

    It was believed that the publication of the panel’s report last September could shed a great deal of light on her behaviour and comments – and what she was told and advised – in the days, weeks and months following the disaster.

    But no contemporaneous documents were disclosed to the Panel concerning the briefing given to Mrs Thatcher and then Home Secretary Douglas Hurd the morning after the disaster.

    And it said there was no documentation that revealed what the then PM said when she visited Hillsborough and South Yorkshire Police on that day.

    The Panel said such a document “probably didn’t exist”. But the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the role of police in the cover-up, has demanded all documents held by the former PM.

    Sheila Coleman, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said: “From my own of view I respect the dead. But unlike Margaret Thatcher I also respect the living.

    “Not many will mourn her loss on Merseyside or in mining communities across the country.

    “The HJC hope that now she is dead at least those who have protected her will do the decent thing and release all documentation in respect of the Hillsborough cover-up.

    “She was instrumental in the Hillsborough cover-up. We call on the government to release all documentation about her involvement.”

    Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: “I have no feelings towards her either way.

    “That’s not be being vindictive. But we know she had sly meetings the evening of the disaster and the morning after at the ground and that is when the cover-up started.

    “I think it’s a disgrace that she is getting a state funeral. What did she do to deserve that? All she was was the Prime Minister that helped make the country the way it is.”






    Margaret Thatcher and Liverpool. A look back at some of her visits to Liverpool

    Apr 8 2013

    View
    .
    *Margaret Thatcher dies: Paddy Shennan on how The Iron Lady was not for turning - but neither was Liverpool

    What was revealed by the panel was that Baroness Thatcher did voice concern that a 1989 report into Hillsborough constituted a “devastating criticism” of police.

    The comment came in a handwritten note in the margin of a civil servant’s memo informing her that the Home Secretary planned to welcome the broad thrust of Lord Taylor’s interim report on its publication in August 1989.

    Mrs Thatcher had already been warned the interim report was “very damning” of police but attached “little or no blame” to Liverpool fans.

    She was told in a memo from a senior civil servant the interim report found the chief superintendent in charge at Hillsborough “behaved in an indecisive fashion” and senior officers infuriated the judge by seeking to “duck all responsibility when giving evidence” to his inquiry.

    The memo made clear Mr Hurd thought South Yorkshire Chief Constable Peter Wright would have to resign adding: “The enormity of the disaster, and the extent to which the inquiry blames the police, demand this.”

    It added: “The defensive, and at times close to deceitful, behaviour by the senior officers in South Yorkshire sounds depressingly familiar.”

    The interim report would “sap confidence in the police force” and could encourage aggressive behaviour by fans towards officers, said the memo, adding: “Liverpool fans – who have caused trouble in the past – will feel vindicated.”

    But Mrs Thatcher made clear in her handwritten note she did not want to give the government’s full backing to Lord Taylor’s criticisms, only to the way in which he had conducted his inquiry and made recommendations for action.

    She wrote: “What do we mean by ‘welcoming the broad thrust of the report’? The broad thrust is devastating criticism of the police. Is that for us to welcome? Surely we welcome the thoroughness of the report and its recommendations – M.T.”

    In January the ECHO revealed how her former press secretary Bernard Ingham said Liverpool should “shut up about Hillsborough” in a letter to a Reds supporter in 1996.

    Sir Bernard refused to admit he was wrong to blame fans for the disaster asking: “What have I to apologise for?”


    Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2PycB9xUN
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