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Hillsborough Inquests: No-one took charge of police response

by Andy Bonner

The Hillsborough Inquests have heard that police carrying dead and injured people were called "murderers" by Liverpool fans in the minutes after the Hillsborough disaster

A senior officer, who was on duty at the ground, told the inquest fans were very angry and blamed the police. He also said that no-one seemed to take charge of the police response.

Our Hillsborough correspondent Andy Bonner reports from the inquests in Warrington.

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Hillsborough Inquests: Officer 'decided' young casualty had died, despite lack of medical training

by Andy Bonner

Mr Humphries told the Hillsborough inquests how he decided one of the casualties had died, despite not being trained medically.

The retired inspector described bringing a youth out from the terrace who looked blue and was not showing signs of life.

The witness said:

"It was my decision that we decided that he had died. I think we left him near a wall. I remember, silly thing now, but I covered his face with his T-shirt."

– Mr Humphries

Mr Humphries admitted it was "not dignified" to leave the youth like that, but said he thought he was doing what was best.

Sean Horstead, representing ten of the bereaved families, asked whether those considered dead were left in the recovery position.

The witness said he did not know and accepted that, in accordance with his basic first aid training, it would have been better to leave people like that.

The court heard he and an officer from St John Ambulance helped another youth who also appeared blue but appeared to be breathing.

He commandeered a stretcher when an ambulance arrived and lifted the casualty in.

He agreed he appeared to have survived because of the intervention of the officer and ambulance worker.

Mr Horstead asked if the witness would accept the possibility that some of those he had considered had died may not have done.

He replied:

"One of the things that is drilled into you is that we are not medical and we don't decide who is dead and who is not. But there are occasions, unfortunately, throughout my career that there has come a time when you have to make a judgment and I made a judgment that day in relation to that young man… I wasn't deciding who was dead and who wasn't. We were just getting on with what we are doing."

– Mr Humphries

Later, the witness was asked more about the order he had received to assist casualties.

He said it came from Superintendent Roger Marshall, the Liverpool sector commander, who indicated the Leppings Lane stand saying: 'Go in there and help them out with the injured.'

Mr Humphries agree he was not given any specifics about where in the stand to go, what to do when he got there or who to liaise with.

Police appeal for car in Preston murder inquiry

Jonjo Highton
Jonjo Highton Credit: Lancashire Police

Detectives leading a murder inquiry into the death of 18-year-old Jonjo Highton in Preston are appealing for information about a car which may have been involved.

Seven men aged between 19 and 27 are in custody on suspicion of murder.

The man leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Eddie Thistlethwaite, said:

“We believe that the attackers may have used several vehicles and I would appeal for anyone who may have seen these cars in the area south of Moor Park around St Stephen’s Road area or indeed anywhere in Preston on Saturday night to contact us.

I am specifically interested in locating a blue Vauxhall Vectra, registration KG04 EJU and a people carrier possibly a silver or grey Renault Megane Scenic that was seen in company with the vehicle.

“Do you know the whereabouts of the Vectra KG04 EJU? Have you been innocently sold this car or asked to scrap it since Saturday? Do you know who has used this car within the last few weeks?”.

– Detective Superintendent Eddie Thistlethwaite
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