It would seem that the ESPN documentary 30 for 30 is now available in the UK.
WARNING.....Some may find it distressing
Why doesn't this surprise me,
'The day South Yorkshire Police tried to spin me at Hillsborough inquests'
09:17, 6 May 2016
By Eleanor Barlow
Former South Yorkshire Police press officer Hayley Court claimed bosses bullied her to spin the media
South Yorkshire Police questioned the ECHO’s coverage of the Hillsborough inquests as they tried to “spin” reports.
Former South Yorkshire Police press officer Hayley Court was at the inquests almost every day for about the first four months of the hearings.
She has now revealed she left suffering depression after bosses tried to force her to “spin” the coverage of the hearings in the force’s favour.
It was a few months in that this became apparent to me.
On July 29, 2014 the court heard evidence from Trevor Bichard - a PC who had been in the police control box on the day of the disaster.
Family lawyers uncovered a line in his original log from the day which recorded at 2.55pm “From officers rear of Leppings Lane - shut the gates at the rear of the tunnel.”
The line did not appear in any later versions of his log and had not been mentioned by Mr Bichard in any of his previous evidence.
Former South Yorks police media officer: I was told to spin Hillsborough inquests evidence
The failure to close the tunnel leading to the central pens was a key part of the evidence and the jury later pinpointed it as one of the errors made by commanding officers which caused or contributed to the crush on the terrace.
The revelation about the log was clearly the key evidence of the day and that was reflected in the ECHO’s reports.
But the following day, I was approached by Ms Court who questioned our coverage.
She, on behalf of her bosses, asked why we had not included the questioning of Mr Bichard by South Yorkshire Police barrister Fiona Barton QC.
Ms Barton had shown Mr Bichard photos of the outer perimeter gates at the Leppings Lane end, which she said appeared to show the bolts had bent and buckled.
She also asked about his comment in an earlier statement: “The crowd outside forced its way through the outer gates and ran into the ground via gate C.”
Mr Bichard agreed that was what appeared to happen.
In her discussion with me the following day, Ms Court said her bosses were disappointed that the point about fans allegedly forcing an outer gate, which was reported in our liveblog of proceedings, had not been included in the ECHO’s “Five things we learnt” report.
She made it clear that the police had thought the evidence, which appeared to incriminate fans, was important.
Last week, after sitting through two years of evidence, the jury exonerated the fans and found their behaviour did not cause or contribute to the disaster.
It was clear that Ms Court, who I had a polite working relationship with, was making the point at the request of her bosses.
She has since alleged that she was at the inquests as a ‘spin doctor,’ and was told: “Your job is to round up the media at the end of the day and tell them: ‘This is the line.’”
She said the “line” was clearly to prominently highlight evidence that suggested South Yorkshire police’s failings were not in fact to blame for the disaster, and to stress any evidence given by witnesses that supporters had misbehaved.
In November 2014, Ms Court was signed off sick with depression following her complaints of bullying.
Rumour has it that an important announcement is going to be made tomorrow, could be one of the reasons there has not been an update from the IPCC as yet this month.
Fingers crossed it's the news we've been waiting for regarding prosecutions.
Hillsborough: 23 individuals and organisations could face criminal charges over disaster
Evidence to be scrutinised by the CPS after criminal probes handover four years of research
14:01, 12 JAN 2017
Twenty three individuals and organisations could face criminal charges over the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath.
On a landmark day for the justice battle, the bodies overseeing the two criminal probes launched in 2012 have reported their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.
And it was revealed that the evidence of nearly two dozen people and institutions will be the focus of scrutiny from prosecutors.
The findings of the Independent Police Commission and Operation Resolve have now been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, it was announced this afternoon.
Officials from the CPS will now consider the evidence before deciding whether any individuals or organisations have a criminal case to answer.
A timeline for that process has not been laid out.
Today’s announcement did not reveal the names of any individuals or organisations that could face charges following the investigations.
Nor did it disclose if investigators believe anyone should be exonerated based on the strength - or weakness - of evidence against them.
Individuals likely to have been considered in the investigations include match commander David Duckenfield and former Merseyside Police chief constable Norman Bettison, who was not on duty on April 15, 1989 but has been accused of playing a role in a ‘black ops’ smear campaign designed to project blame away from South Yorkshire Police.
Organisations that may be focused on include South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Wednesday FC and Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
The end of two major investigations, each launched following the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s 2012 report is another milestone in the battle for justice.
Of the two probes, Operation Resolve has focused on planning and preparation ahead of the tragic FA Cup semi-final, while the Independent Police Complaints Commission has looked at allegations of a police cover up following the unlawful killing of 96 Reds fans.
The two investigations have seen staff conduct hundreds of interviews and examine hundreds of thousands of documents in a process lasting more than four years and run from Warrington.
Reacting to the announcement, Elkan Abrahamson, who represented 20 of the Hillsborough families at the inquests, said his clients were relieved the files had been passed to the CPS and called for quick decisions to be made over charges.
Sue Hemming, Head of CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Having received files from both Hillsborough investigations, we will now assess these in order to determine whether we have sufficient material on which to make charging decisions. Charging decisions will be based on the tests set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”
Fantastic news. Massive hats off to those people who've fought so hard for this.
Fingers crossed it's the right people
Let's not speculate too much at this point.
The good news is, it's finally got to this point.. Still a long way to go..there still has to be charges brought, and a trial.
If it gets to that these people are still entitled under law to a trial by jury (as difficult as it is to stomach after the trial by media Liverpool supporters were subjected to 28 years ago) ..and who knows what way a jury might decide..
I don't think all 23 will see prosecution TBH, but some will.
As kopitebaz said, let's hope they are the right people..the ringleaders and not merely scapegoats meant to 'appease' the families and supporters.
Another little step in this long long road.
Monthly update - February 2017
Posted 8 February 2017 - 10:33am by Rachel Cerfontyne
This is the latest update on the Hillsborough investigation.
Most of you will be aware that we recently announced, along with Operation Resolve(link is external), that evidence files relating 23 suspects had been formally referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)(link is external) 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 (link is external)are continuing to work in Renaissance House in Warrington. Investigators will support the CPS(link is external) 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.
The IPCC has referred files relating to eight suspects to the CPS(link is external) 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(link is external) about West Midlands Police and South Yorkshire Police runs to 61,000 pages and nearly 3,000 documents respectively.
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(link is external) 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.
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