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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:50 PM   #161
Paul D
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So there will be no justice, those at the top are being protected like Bettison and Duckenfield who so happened to be retired, sickening, so much for British justice. Even when they're caught red handed they still have the audacity to change the rules and let the guilty get away with it.

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Only serving police officers must answer Hillsborough investigation questions under new law

ONLY serving police officers - not those that have retired - will be compelled to give evidence to an investigation into the Hillsborough cover-up, it emerged yesterday.

A fast-track law will be passed by Christmas, enabling the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to begin quizzing witnesses early in the New Year, the Home Secretary said.

But ministers are believed to have decided it is better to act swiftly than to be dragged into a dispute about whether the powers can be extended to former officers, who are now civilians.

Whitehall sources said ex-officers would be expected to attend an interview as would any "conscientious member of the public" - given the huge importance of the investigation.

And they did not rule out toughening up the law further next year, if it emerged that further action was needed to ensure no-one involved in the cover-up escapes justice.

Announcing the Police (Complaints & Conduct) Bill - revealed by the ECHO yesterday - Theresa May said: "I made a commitment to ensure that the IPCC has the powers and resources it needs to carry out its investigations into the Hillsborough disaster.

"This commitment was made in the knowledge that the families of the victims and the survivors have waited 23 years for the truth about the disaster to be revealed.

"The IPCC has indicated that as part of its ongoing investigations, it will likely be in a position to call witnesses early in 2013."

The Bill will also allow the IPCC to probe any matter previously investigated by its predecessor, the Police Complaints Authority, the Home Secretary added.

Labour - which first pushed for the IPCC's powers to be strengthened - is believed to agree that it is better to get a simpler Bill through
parliament quickly.

However, it will continue to push for the appointment of a 'senior lead investigator' to pull together all the Hillsborough inquiries and ensure
they do not drag on for years.

The investigator would co-ordinate inquiries by the IPCC, by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and an expected probe by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The landmark findings of the Hillsborough Panel have left the IPCC carrying out the largest inquiry ever into police conduct in the UK.

It is examining the role played by up to 2,444 police officers, who served at 25 different forces - not including South Yorkshire Police.

The Bill published yesterday will cover officers who have moved to a different force since the 1989 tragedy, as well as current civilian
employees.


Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2CyBPENJt
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 07:21 PM   #162
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Perhaps paedophiles and abusers at children's homes who've since retired shouldn't be investigated either. It just seems too incredible to be true. I sincerely hope it's sloppy journalism on the Echo's part.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 08:34 PM   #163
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That's just the IPCC though isn't it for internal purposes, criminal and civil cahrges/case can be brought regardless.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 02:27 AM   #164
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Well, obviously ex-employees cannot be disciplined by their former place of work. If that's all the Echo are getting at, then they're getting pretty desperate.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #165
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Hillsborough Justice Collective - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

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Old December 8th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #166
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absolutely brilliant,
really emotional ending.

Pre-order the single for mobile download by texting ‘JUSTICE’ to 80010.
just £1.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 12:23 AM   #167
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A reminder that the single goes on sale tomorrow. It doesn't matter whether you purchase on-line from iTunes, Amazon, etc, or in-store at HMV, Tesco, Sainsbury's or Morrison's, it will still count towards the chart, and most importantly, the proceeds still go to the families.

JFT96.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 02:08 PM   #168
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The Guardian

Hillsborough families move another step closer to justice

23 years after disaster, inquest verdicts are quashed as new police investigation is announced

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Since the Hillsborough independent panel published its report on 12 September, blowing away the myths and police lies about how 96 people died at the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989, there has been a sense that consequences are falling almost naturally into place.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is conducting an inquiry into the South Yorkshire force's mismanagement of the event that day, the alteration of 116 of their own officers' statements to blame supporters' misbehaviour and deflect culpability from themselves, and the West Midlands police's investigation of the disaster.

The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, is examining whether any criminal charges should be brought over what happened at Hillsborough and its aftermath. A new police investigation, into the failures which caused so many people to die at a football match on a sunny spring day in the 1980s, was announced just as court 5 on the Strand was preparing for the application to quash the inquest verdict.

So even the bereaved Hillsborough families, who lost their loved ones and have ever since battled the legal processes which failed to deliver the truth and justice, had to remind themselves of the historic significance of this day. The inquest into the Hillsborough disaster, whose conduct, attitude, procedures and verdict of accidental death they always considered an outrage, has been quashed, 21 long and terrible years since it concluded.

The families have fought with unshakeable determination for exactly this, legal recognition that the inquest's assumptions about Hillsborough were flagrantly wrong, but in truth they doubted for years if they would ever see it happen. In 1993, a judicial review application on behalf of six families to overturn the inquest verdict was turned down by this same high court. The families' campaign over two decades was widely ignored, smothered by a general acceptance of the police lies that drunk and misbehaving supporters were to blame, and the injustice of those smears, and of the way the inquest was conducted, were not generally understood.

Anne Williams, whose 15-year-old son, Kevin, died in the horrors of Hillsborough, contested the medical evidence accepted by the Sheffield coroner, Dr Stefan Popper, that all the victims had received their fatal injuries, and could not have been saved, after 3.15pm on the day of the disaster. Two people who attended to Kevin had told West Midlands police he had a pulse, and said "Mum", before dying at 4pm. Those witnesses said they were subsequently pressured by West Midlands police officers to change that evidence. Williams has over these many years made three separate "memorials" – applications to the attorney general for Kevin's inquest verdict to be quashed – but was refused each time.

Until the panel, chaired by James Jones, the bishop of Liverpool, produced its report, substantially authored by Prof Phil Scraton of Queens University Belfast, the families could not see any route to justice that they had not already exhausted.

Yet here they were, cramming into the wood panelling and neo-gothic vaults of the Royal Courts of Justice, hearing Igor Judge, the lord chief justice, calmly reading as a judgment much of what they argued themselves, to no avail, all those lost years.

This most senior judge, flanked by Mr Justice Ian Burnett and the chief coroner, Mr Justice Peter Thornton QC, recorded their admiration for the families' fight, and expressed great sympathy for what they had endured.

"Notwithstanding its falsity," he said, "the tendency to blame the fans was disappointingly tenacious and lingered for many years."

Because of the reputation football supporters had for hooliganism in the 1980s, he said disapprovingly, "there was fertile ground for the acceptance of rumour, gossip and deliberate misinformation, attributing the deaths to drunken misbehaviour by the fans".

As Lord Justice Taylor found in his official report in August 1989 and the panel confirmed 23 years later, recorded by Judge, there was no incidence of drunk or misbehaving fans contributing to the disaster, however hard and insistently the South Yorkshire police pushed that tale.

Judge described his four grounds for quashing the inquest as new evidence, based on the panel's report and analysis of 450,000 documents relating to Hillsborough, but in fact their essentials have been known, and central to the families' campaign, in the 21 years since the inquest verdict of March 1991.

First was Popper's conclusion that all the victims of Hillsborough had received fatal injuries by 3.15pm on the day of the disaster, from which no medical assistance could have saved them. That finding, based on pathologists' views then, is "not sustainable", Judge ruled. The 3.15pm "cut-off" of evidence, imposed by the coroner, prevented any examination of the disaster response by the police and ambulance services. The panel did analyse it, finding it was chaotic, and there was "clear and repeated evidence of failures in leadership and … co-ordination".

Now, a review of the medical evidence by Dr Bill Kirkup, the panel's medical expert, and the pathologist Prof Jack Crane, has established that at least 58 of the 96 victims might have been saved after 3.15pm had proper medical aid been administered.

Next was the emphasis on alcohol, the police case entertained at the inquest, profoundly resented by the families and all of Liverpool since the stories were first spread. The attorney general, Dominic Grieve QC, who made his application in person, said allowing that argument to be run, and noting the alcohol levels in the blood of those who died, breached the legal principle not to "wrongly stigmatise the deceased".

Third was the now notorious alteration by the South Yorkshire police of junior officers' statements, to deflect blame for the disaster from their own failures. These statements emerged in 1997, yet the families' cry, that this was evidence of a cover-up effort by the police, was denied for another 15 years. Judge described the operation in court as "reprehensible".

Fourth was the wretched state of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground, its catalogue of safety failures, and crushes at that Leppings Lane end in 1981 and 1988, which Lord Justice Taylor itemised in his official report 23 years ago. The panel went into further detail, stating that the previous crushes were "unheeded warnings", and the disaster crush of 1989 was "foreseeable". Judge ruled that this area of the disaster "merits close consideration" in a new inquest.

The families, having suffered such dreadful loss, were plunged into a legal system which, Judge acknowledged with regret, had been "unbearable, dispiriting and prolonged". Even that was an understatement: for them, Margaret Aspinall, the chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HSFG), who lost her 18-year-old son, James, says repeatedly, it was "a disgrace".

Since full disclosure of the Hillsborough documents was called for by the Labour then ministers Andy Burnham and Maria Eagle, and agreed by the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, the families have experienced a different British establishment, giving Rolls-Royce service. The panel of eight experts chaired by Jones produced a formidably rigorous report, supported by a small civil service secretariat working with unflappable efficiency.

The wheels of justice have turned quickly since; few believed the hearing to quash the inquest verdict would possibly be held this side of Christmas. Having listened to Grieve's application and QCs Michael Mansfield and Pete Wetherby representing the families, the three judges retired for just four minutes before returning to quash the inquest. After a 23-year campaign, the hearing took an hour and a half.

All of these elements: the state of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground with its out-of-date safety certificate, Sheffield city council's failure to properly oversee safety, the Football Association's decision to hold its semi-final there nevertheless, the South Yorkshire police's conduct on the day and subsequently, and that of the South Yorkshire ambulance service, will now be examined fully in a new inquest. Judge said this time it should not to be "adversarial", and should be held without unnecessary delay.

"The families of those who died will be vindicated and the memory of those who died will be respected," Judge said.

That is the least to which British people, already propelled into their worst nightmare, were entitled, yet respect was absent from the treatment the families endured until the tide turned on the 20th anniversary in 2009.

That passage of time is one of the further tragedies of Hillsborough.

"We were all young people when this started," shrugged Trevor Hicks, president of the HFSG, who was at the match himself, with his then wife Jenni, at which their two teenage daughters, Sarah and Victoria, died in the Leppings Lane. Several bereaved parents who fought the long battle alongside the others have now themselves died. Many others are unwell, all are approaching 24 years older than they were when they waved their children off to that football match.

Williams, to see an application to quash the verdict finally granted the fourth time around, arrived on the Strand frail, pushed in a wheelchair. Shortly after the panel report did provide the families with their vindication, Williams was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She has moved to a hospice in Southport, but was determined she would see this day. Outside afterwards, she said of the police: "Why did they go to such extremes? Why didn't they give us the truth? We could have mourned our children, not had to spend 23 years fighting the system."

Quiet, but still indomitable, she said: "This is what I fought for. I was never going to give up."
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:48 PM   #169
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From X Factor winner, and main Christmas Number 1 rival, James Arthur's Twitter - @JamesArthur23
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Platinum single baby! Not a bad start thanks to all who bought it now make sure the hillsbrough tune is number 1!! #LOVE
As of midnight last night, the Hillsborough single was 23,000 copies ahead.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 09:06 PM   #170
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The Justice Collective - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, is the Official 2012 UK Christmas Number One.

Sales totalled 269,000 copies, 45,000 copies ahead of its nearest rival.

JFT96.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 08:56 PM   #171
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Excellent news re the Justice Collective single, although somewhat disappointing that there is still ignorance on its cause from sections of the media who should know better. ITV's lunchtime news said all proceeds would go to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign which isn't the case as there are 3 different Hillsborough groups and some of the 96's next of kin aren't affiliated to either. The proceeds I as In understand it (although I'll welcome any correction/clarification) will be administered independently i.e. by somebody not connected to any group and any family can apply for some of it. Even though the direct legal costs are now being met by the government there's plenty of others that need meeting such as travel to inquests/potential loss of earnings etc.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #172
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Irvine Patnick, the Sheffield MP who partook in spreading some of those malicious lies, has died. I have no doubt that he was under a lot of stress following the publishing of the panel's report and the greater scrutiny into his involvement in the events of 1989. I also have no doubt that having to hear "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" went some way towards adding to that stress. He's avoided a trial, is all I'll say.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20872924

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Former MP Sir Irvine Patnick dies

The former Conservative MP Sir Irvine Patnick has died, his family has said in a statement.

He represented Sheffield Hallam between 1987 and 1997, the constituency now held by the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

Sir Irvine was the only Conservative MP in South Yorkshire, and was also a Conservative government whip.

He was criticised in the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report on the Hillsborough disaster.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died after the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

September's report confirmed him as the Sun newspaper's source for a story which smeared Liverpool fans after the disaster.

It found that the sources for the story which had the headline "The Truth" was a news agency reporting conversations with South Yorkshire Police and Sir Irvine.

Sir Irvine had apologised for his comments, saying he was "deeply and sincerely sorry" and insisted he had been given "wholly inaccurate" information by police officers.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 07:47 PM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossoliver View Post
Irvine Patnick, the Sheffield MP who partook in spreading some of those malicious lies, has died. I have no doubt that he was under a lot of stress following the publishing of the panel's report and the greater scrutiny into his involvement in the events of 1989. I also have no doubt that having to hear "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" went some way towards adding to that stress. He's avoided a trial, is all I'll say.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20872924
I have decided to write a poem to commemorate this event.


There once was a man call Irvine Patnick
Who lied and lied and lied
His excuse was that has a bit thick
But God wasn't impressed and he died
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:35 AM   #174
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The Independent

Sir Irvine Patnick - source for Sun story that smeared Liverpool fans after Hillsborough disaster - dies, aged 83

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The former Conservative MP who helped smear Liverpool fans after the Hillsborough disaster has died.

Sir Irvine Patnick, who was a source for a Sun story criticising the supporters' behaviour in the tragedy, died yesterday aged 83.

He was the MP for Sheffield Hallam from 1987 to 1997. A successful businessman before becoming an MP, he was knighted in 1994.

There had been calls for him to be stripped of his knighthood since his role in The Sun's coverage of the disaster was made clear by the Hillsborough Independent Panel in September.

Amid widespread revulsion at the police cover-up which sought to shift the blame for the tragedy to the fans, Sir Irvine said in September he was "deeply and sincerely sorry" about his role. He said he had passed on police information that was "inaccurate, misleading and plain wrong".

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

A statement issued by his family to the BBC said: "Sir Irvine Patnick OBE, died peacefully on 30 December 2012, aged 83, in Sheffield.

"He was a much loved husband of Lynda and father of Suzanne and Matthew.

"He'll be sadly missed by his brothers and by all his family and friends."

Alan Ryder, former deputy chairman of the Sheffield Hallam Conservatives, said Sir Irvine always did his best for the city.

Mr Ryder said: "He was a very good councillor in Sheffield and he was also a local MP at a time when obviously, when he was on the council and in government, he was very much a minority in this area, being only one of a very small band of Tories.

"He always did his best for Sheffield, his record over the years shows that, and I'm sure everybody who knew him would say the same."
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:19 AM   #175
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The Guardian

Hillsborough families find new, stronger voices in their fight for justice

Claim that West Midlands police did not conduct an independent inquiry into the tragedy has gathered strength

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Lord [Geoffrey] Dear, the chief constable of West Midlands police when his officers conducted the investigations into the Hillsborough disaster, considers it a high point of his career, arguing the force did an outstanding job in a short time for Lord Justice Taylor's official inquiry.

That glowing view is bitterly disputed by families of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough, and by many who survived the disaster and gave their testimony to Dear's officers. Since the Hillsborough Independent Panel published its report on 12 September, families and survivors are increasingly coming forward to complain that the West Midlands force did not conduct a truly independent investigation. They argue that the West Midlands police were complicit with South Yorkshire police's campaign to evade its own officers' responsibility for the disaster, and seek to falsely shift the blame onto the Liverpool supporters themselves.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating West Midlands for several issues highlighted by the report, including whether officers "put pressure on three witnesses to change their statements." Five officers are individually under investigation, including Dear himself, and Mervyn Jones, who as assistant chief constable headed West Midlands' Hillsborough operations, according to Dear. The IPCC said it is examining: "General concerns in the report about inadequate investigation [by West Midlands police] and failure in its direction and control."

Further allegations against the West Midlands police have since been made to the IPCC. They include that officers pressured other witnesses to withdraw criticisms of South Yorkshire police; that they concentrated on and sympathised with South Yorkshire police's discredited account that supporters were drunk and misbehaving; failed to conduct an investigation rigorous enough to result in criminal or disciplinary proceedings against anyone, and played a central role in the failings of the Hillsborough inquests which have now been quashed.

The Hillsborough Family Support Group and Hillsborough Justice Campaign have also called on the IPCC to investigate the role of Detective Superintendent Stanley Beechey. He was under investigation himself in 1989-1990 over the multiple malpractice of the West Midlands serious crime squad, of which he was a former head. With 49 other serious crime squad officers, Beechey was stated by Dear to have been transferred to "non-operational duties". However, internal documents show that Beechey played a central, senior operational role in the West Midlands criminal investigation into Hillsborough, reporting to the Director of Public Prosecutions, then working for the coroner at the inquest.

Family members whose children died at Hillsborough also believe their home telephones were tapped by West Midlands police. Hilda Hammond, whose 14-year-old son, Philip, died in the fatal crush in Hillsborough's Leppings Lane end, is haunted by an episode of interference on her phone the following spring, 1990. She was at home in Aigburth, Liverpool, talking to her friend who lived near Llanberis, north Wales. Their conversation was suddenly interrupted by the voice of another mother, Jenni Hicks, whose teenage daughters, Sarah and Victoria, died at Hillsborough. Hicks was at home in Pinner, Middlesex, talking to one of Sarah's friends in Liverpool, a conversation Hilda Hammond and her friend could clearly hear.

Hicks's then husband, Trevor, was the HFSG chairman, contesting the South Yorkshire police version of Hillsborough and calling for prosecutions. Phil Hammond, Hilda's husband, was an active HFSG member and later the chairman. Hilda Hammond is convinced their phones were tapped.

"There is no other explanation for it – what are the chances of interference on the line, and it is another Hillsborough family?" she said. "It was horrible. All these years I have considered it the ultimate betrayal."

The HFSG has formally requested the IPCC to conduct a full, transparent investigation into the allegation by Hammond, Hicks and others, of phone tapping. Dear told the Guardian it is "nonsense" to allege that families' phones were tapped: "I would have had to make the application personally," he said.

West Midlands police were formally appointed by South Yorkshire police themselves to investigate Hillsborough, on 16 April 1989, the day after the disaster. When Taylor was asked to conduct the official inquiry, the evidence gathered by West Midlands was "made available" to him, as well as for South Yorkshire police's "internal purposes."

Documents disclosed as part of the panel process are renewing suspicions that the West Midlands police were sympathetic to the South Yorkshire force. West Midlands officers used a standard questionnaire and checklist when interviewing witnesses, including Liverpool supporters who survived the appalling horror of the Leppings Lane "pens" 3 and 4, with people dying all around them. The checklist was heavily weighted towards the South Yorkshire police narrative, which sought to blame supporters' misbehaviour for the fatal crush. Under a heading of "Investigation," the possible categories were all aimed at supporters: "forged tickets, forcing gates, unauthorised access, alcohol" and "disorder". There was no list of possible misconduct by police or any other body. When witnesses gave evidence of police inaction, negligence, assault or abuse, as many survivors did, they had to be noted in a catch-all section headed: "Any category not specified."

The questionnaire, while it did include questions about police control, asked in six separate places about whether supporters were drinking, fighting, gaining "unauthorised entry," and "disorder."

Some survivors, wholly vindicated by the panel, are recalling with greater confidence their discomfort at how West Midlands officers interviewed them. Young men who had gone to support Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest but found themselves in a hellish experience, were told their parents did not need to be present at the interviews.

Similar stories are emerging, of West Midlands officers telling survivors they were not in pens 3 or 4 where they said they were, that their story was not particularly bad or was irrelevant. One survivor of pen 3, who did not want to be named, says pressure was put on him, quite forcefully, to amend and withdraw criticism of South Yorkshire police officers. He has given a detailed account to the IPCC. No explanation was ever given to these witnesses about who would be called to give evidence to Taylor.

Despite the South Yorkshire police's relentlessly made case that fans' drunkenness and misbehaviour caused the disaster, almost no evidence was found to support their story. Taylor cut through to the safety failures by Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield City Council, and previous crushes in the Leppings Lane end. He identified the South Yorkshire police's loss of control outside the ground, then the decision to open an exit gate to allow a large number of supporters in, and the failure to close off the tunnel leading to the already overcrowded central "pens," as the prime causes of the disaster.

Dear regards Taylor's findings as vindication for the West Midlands police inquiry. He points to the tribute Taylor paid in his introduction to the West Midlands police for "their speed and dedication in gathering the evidence," and to similar approval given by the Football Supporters Association.

After Taylor's critical findings about the disaster's causes, on 16 August 1989 South Yorkshire police themselves asked West Midlands police to investigate whether any criminal charges should follow.

West Midlands police were also reporting to the Police Complaints Authority who would decide whether policemen should face disciplinary action.

On 16 August 1989, Dear was asked if West Midlands police would conduct those investigations. Just two days earlier, Dear had disbanded his serious crime squad, after a string of miscarriages of justice and collapsed prosecutions. It had emerged that West Midlands officers had habitually fabricated evidence, including inserting confessions into suspects' statements.

Questions about the squad dated back to 1975 when the "Birmingham Six" were convicted of the two pub bombings; they spent 16 years in prison before forensic tests revealed parts of their statements had been fabricated.

The PCA and DPP announced investigations into these alleged malpractices within West Midlands police. Dear stated he was transferring 50 serving and former serious crime squad officers to "non-operational duties." That was widely understood to mean the officers would have no involvement in criminal investigations, given the allegations about malpractice. Dear later described the postings as "non-jobs."

DS Beechey was a former head of the serious crime squad, at the time deputy head of West Midlands CID. While other senior officers were posted to research, personnel and road safety talks in schools, Beechey's posting was for "studying technical aspects of Hillsborough". Dear has said that involved examining fuzzy video footage.

Beechey's "non-operational duties" lasted from 14 August 1989, when the serious crime squad was disbanded, until he was cleared of wrongdoing and returned to "operational duties" on 30 November 1990.

Bereaved families at the Hillsborough inquest found him during that period playing a senior role at the now discredited "mini-inquests," held to give limited summaries of what had happened, which began in April 1990. The families were contacted by George Tomkins, a Liverpool man who claimed he had been framed by Beechey for a crime of which he was acquitted. Beechey was himself interviewed under caution about this allegation on 20 June 1990. He was never disciplined or prosecuted for any misconduct, but Tomkins sued for malicious prosecution, which West Midlands police settled, paying Tomkins £40,000.

The families have been concerned about Beechey's role ever since the inquest, and the HFSG and HJC have asked the IPCC to investigate.

Documents released to the panel, however, reveal that Beechey's role was more central than has been understood for 22 years. While on "non-operational duties" and under investigation himself, Beechey was in fact working as a senior detective in the West Midlands team investigating Hillsborough on behalf of the DPP. He liaised directly with the DPP and PCA – which was investigating him at the time. He was described in August 1990 as third in command of the West Midlands police's Hillsborough investigation team, working from the Nechells Green police station in Birmingham.

West Midlands police have never acknowledged this, and in 2009 described Beechey as "a later addition" to the Sheffield coroner's team, his role: "Of a limited, overseeing nature". In fact he was appointed inquest manager, the second most senior police position, in April 1990, at the beginning of the inquest process.

Attention has always focused on allegations of culpability among the senior officers who were in command at Hillsborough, Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and Superintendent Bernard Murray. But witnesses' statements reveal many different complaints were made about police officers' conduct. Several supporters gave accounts of a mounted policeman outside the ground swearing at and punching supporters; of police officers inside punching fans, swearing and being abusive, and assaulting or pushing fans back into the pens when they tried to escape to safety. There were many accounts of fans in the pens screaming for their lives, for the police officers around the pitch to open the gates at the front to allow people out, but failing to do so until dozens of people were already dead.

In an initial report to the DPP, West Midlands police had decided to interview Duckenfield, Murray, Superintendents Marshall and Greenwood and just two junior officers, of whom the report said it was "very difficult to imagine" they ought to be prosecuted. The West Midlands investigators considered they should examine: "The extent to which the effects of alcohol played a part," and said "the role of supporters may not have been given sufficient prominence [by Taylor]".

Thus, the panel noted: "While Taylor had dismissed the issues of drunkenness and ticketless fans as contributing factors to the disaster, the report put them back on the agenda."

One of Beechey's key roles in the Hillsborough criminal investigation was to re-interview survivors who had criticised police officers' conduct, to see if they wanted to translate these into official complaints. The Guardian has seen 28 statements, from September 1989 to early 1990, in which Beechey personally interviewed witnesses.

One was Eddie Spearritt. He was with his 14-year-old son, Adam, and was deeply traumatised by being unable to save Adam, who died, while Eddie suffered crushing injuries but lived. Spearritt maintained to Beechey a complaint against an officer, who he said refused to open the gate "despite my loud appeals directly to him and his close proximity to our position."

Just one other witness's testimony was gathered to that officer's alleged failure to open the gate. The officer did not face charges for neglect of duty, or any other criminal or disciplinary offence. Another survivor, Damian Kavanagh, then 20, had described police refusing to open the gate at the front of pen 4 despite people screaming and shouting. He saw the gate opened briefly and two or three people get out, then: "They were pushed back in by the police and the gate was shut again."

When the gate was finally opened, Kavanagh managed to scramble to it over people's heads. When he reached the gate, he had said a police officer: "Grabbed hold of me by my shirt and said: 'You fucking twat,' and tried to push me back in."

Kavanagh managed to push past the officer and get onto the pitch, where he helped carry bodies on advertising hoardings across the Hillsborough pitch. On 3 November 1989, Kavanagh was visited at work by Beechey. He made a second statement, largely repeating his first, except it did not include the observation of people getting out then being pushed back into the pen. Beechey returned a week later, with a video showing the officer who had sworn and grabbed Kavanagh. Making a third statement, Kavanagh said in it: "I do not wish to make a specific complaint against this officer." The statements note Kavanagh "withdraws complaint".

Kavanagh recalls he did not feel pressured to withdraw the complaint. However, he says he was not even made aware that West Midlands police had moved on to a criminal investigation He does not recall Beechey explaining the significance of making a formal complaint.

"I didn't understand why he had come back for me to tell him everything a second time," Kavanagh said.

"Now I feel very uneasy, I feel they were happy they had ticked me off, and there wasn't going to be a complaint against that officer."

On 19 February 1990, Beechey met the Conservative MP Irvine Patnick at the House of Commons. Patnick was spreading stories of supporters' drunkenness and misbehaviour. He had been given by White's news agency, the source of the false allegations infamously published by The Sun, extracts of sworn statements by stewards, police officers and an ambulance officer. These included allegations against fans – although they also included observations of supporters attending to the injured and dead. Patnick wrote to Beechey, sending these statements, on 21 February 1990. He also enclosed a report by Michael Shersby MP, who was assisting South Yorkshire police's campaign against the supporters and the Taylor report findings.

Patnick wrote to Beechey: "I do think that the South Yorkshire police's evidence was not fully taken into account at the [Taylor] inquiry and … I do so –hope something can be done to rectify this."

It is not known if Patnick's briefing against the Liverpool supporters informed Beechey or the West Midlands investigation for the DPP. There is no record of Patnick being challenged about how White's had copies of sworn statements. Now, nearly 23 years later, the IPCC is investigating whether West Midlands police officers themselves "inappropriately" provided the statements to White's.

Of Beechey's role, Dear says it still fell within his definition of "non-operational duties" and "non-jobs".

"The main purpose of non-operational duties was to keep officers away from day-to-day detective work in the West Midlands, where they would have the 'fluidity' to potentially interfere with the investigation into themselves," Dear said.

However, Dr Tim Kaye, who as a Birmingham University law professor conducted an independent investigation into the serious crime squad's activities, concluding in May 1991 that they were "alarming," rejected that outright: "'Non-operational duties' should not include carrying out interviews, because fabricating confessions was an endemic problem within the squad," Kaye said.

"West Midlands police said Beechey was on 'non-operational duties', 'studying technical aspects of Hillsborough'. Since we now know that Beechey was interviewing witnesses, these statements sound like weasel words."

While there is no evidence that Beechey did anything improper on the Hillsborough investigation, the HFSG and the HJC are calling for a thorough investigation into his activities and why he was given so prominent a role. Dear told The Guardian he agreed that the IPCC should fully investigate.

On 30 August 1990, the DPP concluded "there is no evidence to justify any criminal proceedings" against South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield City Council and "insufficient evidence to justify proceedings against any officer of the South Yorkshire police or any other person for any offence".

The PCA considered 17 complaints from members of the public, brought to them by West Midlands police. They dismissed 15, then decided Duckenfield and Murray should be charged with neglect of duty. Duckenfield retired on medical grounds on 10 November 1991, then the PCA decided not to proceed against Murray alone.

Dear asserts that the West Midlands investigations were "scrupulous" and he will be cleared of any fault by the IPCC.

However, the Liverpool Labour MP Maria Eagle says she has always found it highly significant that South Yorkshire police appointed the West Midlands police to investigate Hillsborough, and were given all the documents when the investigation concluded.

"South Yorkshire police were seeking to exonerate themselves for their own failings and blame supporters for the disaster," Eagle said: "My overriding impression is that West Midlands police were working not as independent investigators, but on behalf of South Yorkshire police."

West Midlands police declined to comment, or explain its description of Beechey's role, while the IPCC investigation continues.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #176
SteH
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Unbelievable story in tonight's Echo about Thatcher's press secretary Bernard Ingham's views, refusal to apologise for them and writing to a fan saying that the city should shut up for its own good.


Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2IAZwDtlB
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Old January 16th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by SteH View Post
Unbelievable story in tonight's Echo about Thatcher's press secretary Bernard Ingham's views, refusal to apologise for them and writing to a fan saying that the city should shut up for its own good.


Read more: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...#ixzz2IAZwDtlB
What a horrid shit he is. His wiki page is not up-to-date; it doesn't report upon his reported anti-Liverpool prejudices and his controversial involvement in this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Ingham
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Old January 16th, 2013, 10:33 PM   #178
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Typical British establishment response. The English tend to be servile to the elite - they buy in to this "draw a line under it and move on" stuff.

Ingram has been exposed, he'll be dragged further in to the mire and will die vilified because people refused to shut up and respond to his bullying ways.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 10:41 PM   #179
Medi73#!
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Ingham is an odious loathsome putrid piece of shit.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 11:58 PM   #180
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Ingham is an odious loathsome putrid piece of shit.
just one horrible horrible low life
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