Inquests into the deaths of 96 victims of Hillsborough disaster

New inquests into 96 deaths at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster have resumed

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Further appeal for witnesses who helped at Hillsborough

Investigators would like the help of the man pictured in this photo Credit: Operation Resolve

Police have released pictures of a further six people who may be able to assist with the investigation into the HIllsborough Disaster.

The photographs show men and women who helped some of the Liverpool fans who died.

Investigators would like the help of those pictured in this photo Credit: Operation Resolve
Investigators would like the help of the woman pictured in this photo Credit: Operation Resolve

So far, images of more than 40 people have been released. More than half of those have been identified.

Investigators would like the help of the man pictured in this photo Credit: Operation Resolve
Investigators would like the help of those pictured in this photo Credit: Operation Resolve

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Former West Yorkshire Police chief regrets Hillsborough statement

The former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison, has spoken of his regrets over a statement he made about fans' behaviour at the Hillsborough disaster.

His comments, made in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Panel Report, claimed it made the job of the police 'harder than it needed to be".

Today Sir Norman told the new inquests in Warrington he "regretted putting that statement out in the terms that he did, on the day that he did."

Andy Bonner was in court:

Sir Norman Bettison denies attending police meeting

Former police chief Sir Norman Bettison has denied he attended a meeting where a senior officer allegedly told colleagues they were going to place the blame for the Hillsborough tragedy on "drunken, ticketless" Liverpool fans.

Credit: Press Association

The jury in the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final has previously heard evidence that such a police briefing was held two days after the disaster.

Giving evidence today, Sir Norman, who was a chief inspector at the time, said he could say with "absolute confidence" that he was not at the described meeting at South Yorkshire Police headquarters in Sheffield.

In March, former inspector Clive Davis told the inquests in Warrington that Sir Norman had asked him to attend a briefing to be held by Chief Superintendent Terry Wain.

Mr Davis said: "His words (Mr Wain) were - and I can almost remember them verbatim - that 'we were going to put the blame for this disaster where it belongs - on the drunken, ticketless Liverpool fans'."

He said Mr Wain went on to say that officers should drive along the M62 to look for discarded cans of beer and should also speak to pub landlords and neighbours around Sheffield Wednesday's ground about the behaviour of Liverpool fans on April 15 1989.

Mr Davis added that the "very high-level briefing" amounted to "like a call to arms, almost".

Sir Norman said today that he knew Mr Davis "reasonably well".

Counsel for the inquest Jonathan Hough QC asked: "In a sentence or two, what was then and what became your view of Inspector Davis as he worked under you?"

Sir Norman replied: "A very intelligent person." Mr Hough said: "An honest man?"

Sir Norman said: "My response is going to be coloured by the evidence that I have read that Mr Davis gave to this inquest." Mr Hough said: "Before you heard anything about that, would you have taken him to be a honest man?"

Sir Norman said: "I would have taken him to be a honest man."

Asked about Mr Davis's evidence that the pair attended a meeting led by Mr Wain on the following Monday after the disaster, Sir Norman said: "I attended no meeting on April 17." Mr Hough said: "You can say that with confidence, can you?" Sir Norman replied: "Absolute confidence."

The former chief constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire police forces also denied that he suggested Mr Davis should attend the meeting on the force's response to the tragedy because it would be "career-enhancing".

Sir Norman said: "I gave him no such encouragement."

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Inquest hear of police plans to 'concoct a story ' over Hillsborough

There have been extraordinary claims in court today that a former South Yorkshire Police chief boasted of his role in a plot to smear Liverpool fans and blame them for causing the Hillsborough disaster.

Two men said Sir Norman Bettison, who would later go onto become the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, told them just weeks after the disaster that he was part of a police team whose role was to concoct a story that all the Liverpool fans were drunk.

Sir Norman has denied the claims on a day of drama at the inquests into the 96 fans who died.

Jon Hill reports:

Sir Norman Bettison denies allegations of Hillsborough plot

The former West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison has denied claims he told two men in a pub about his role in a police plot to pin the blame for the disaster on Liverpool fans.

Sir Norman Bettison denies allegations of Hillsborough plot Credit: Press Association

The inquest jury heard today from two men who were part-time students on a business course with Sir Norman in 1989. They claimed he told them separately that he was part of a South Yorkshire Police team concocting a story that all the Liverpool fans were drunk and police were afraid they were going to break the gates down.

But giving his own evidence to the jury, Sir Norman, who was a Chief Inspector with South Yorkshire Police at the time, said: "I did not say anything like that."

  1. National

Hillsborough inquest begins questioning of ex-police chief

The counsel for the coroner overseeing the Hillsborough inquests has begun his questioning of the man who was chief constable of West Yorkshire and Merseyside police forces at the time of the disaster.

Sir Norman Bettison confirmed to Jonathan Hough QC that he was at Hillsborough for the match, as a spectator.

Asked when he realised what was happening, he told the court:

I noticed PC Marsh and another officer carrying a young boy to a spare portion of the pitch directly below where I was sitting and the two officers and a man dressed in civilian clothes, who I later learned to be a doctor, gave oral resuscitation and chest compressions in my presence – in my vision.

It was at that point that I realised that this was something very serious.

– Sir Norman Bettison

Second man makes police plot claims

A second man has told the Hillsborough inquests that a police chief told him of a plot by South Yorkshire Police to pin the blame for the disaster on Liverpool fans.

Mark Ellaby says Sir Norman Bettison, a chief inspector with South Yorkshire Police at the time, told him he had been seconded to an internal police team to make sure the force "bore no blame" for the disaster.

Mr Ellaby says Sir Norman made the remarks in a pub after a part-time business college course they attended.

I remember Mr Bettison saying that he'd just been seconded to an internal team in South Yorkshire Police who were tasked with making sure that South Yorkshire Police bore no blame for the Hillsborough disaster and it was all the fault of the drunken Liverpool supporters.

– Mark Ellaby

Similar claims have been made by another student on the course John Barry. Sir Norman, who went on to become the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire and Merseyside, denies making the remarks.

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