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Former police officer tells Hillsborough Inquests the match commander was like 'a fish out of water'

A former police officer has told the Hillsborough Inquests that the match commander on the day was like 'a fish out of water.'

PC Trevor Bichard said Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield 'didn't offer true leadership at any stage' as the disaster unfolded.

Ann O'Connor reports.

Hillsborough Inquests hears match commander was like 'a fish out of water'

Hillsborough stadium
Hillsborough stadium Credit: PA

A former police constable has told the Hillsborough inquest the match commander 'didn't offer true leadership at any stage' as the disaster unfolded.

Former PC Trevor Bichard said Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield was 'a fish out of water'.

He had replaced a more experienced senior officer in charge of the police operation only days before the FA Cup semi-final at the Sheffield ground.

The former constable was with Mr Duckenfield in the control box as the crush started at the Leppings Lane terrace.

PC Bichard monitoring CCTV around the ground.

He told the new inquests in Warrington 'David Duckenfield was a manager not a leader'.

The jury in Birchwood also heard that complaints were made about problems with police radio transmissions more than an hour before kick-off.

'Without communication there is no control' said Mr Bichard.

He said there were no messages coming from radios around the perimeter fence where fans had started trying escape the crush that killed 96 Liverpool fans.

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Police officer accused of lying about Hillsborough

by Andy Bonner

A former constable has been accused of lying under oath - after a note about the policing of the Hillsborough disaster was apparently "wiped from history". The inquest jury were told that a message from officers - calling for the gates to be shut at the back of the Leppings Lane tunnel - was received by the police control room. But that note, recorded in a log on the day after the disaster, vanished from all subsequent documents.

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