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Hillsborough inquest told to resolve "significant conflict in evidence" about the behaviour of Liverpool fans outside the ground

Sir John Goldring Credit: ITV

The jury in the Hillsborough inquests have been asked to resolve a "significant conflict in evidence" about the behaviour of Liverpool fans outside the ground.

Continuing his summing up, Coroner Sir John Goldring said:

"A number of police officers, not all, who were in the Leppings Lane area give evidence which was critical of the behaviour of the supporters there.

"By contrast, many of the supporters gave evidence to very different effect: that they and their fellow fans behaved normally and sensibly and that their behaviour was no different from that which you would expect at any big football match, but the fans did not contribute to the dangerous situation in any significant way.

"You will have to resolve that conflict."

– Coroner Sir John Goldring

Lawyers acting on behalf of the bereaved families have suggested video footage from the day of the disaster shows no significant misbehaviour by the fans.

The Coroner said the footage may not show everything that happened. He added:

"You will no doubt want to consider the reliability of the evidence from all of those who described events in front of the turnstiles, including police officers, fans and others. Is the evidence reliable? Is it exaggerated? Do you accept it? Do you reject it? These are all matters for you."

– Coroner Sir John Goldring

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Coroner in Hillsborough Inquest tells jurors to inspect Sheffield Wednesday's ground layout

Some of the pens at the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough Stadium in 1989 Credit: Hillsborough Inquests

The coroner in the Hillsborough inquests has told the jury they must decide whether Sheffield Wednesday FC changed the layout of the Leppings Lane end to prevent overcrowding or to segregate fans.

Sir John Goldring is summarising evidence about how pens were divided in 1985 - four years before the disaster.

The court has heard that the club adopted a scheme to keep 23 turnstiles over proposals to increase the number to 34.

The Coroner said:

"Importantly, the schemes [adopted] did not have the sort of dedicated entrances for particular pens that would have allowed the numbers entering each pen to be monitored at the turnstiles.

"Whether it was a scheme to prevent overcrowding as opposed to segregation is a matter for you to consider."

– Coroner, Sir John Goldring

The jury heard that when it was previously suggested that cost was the reason for the change, Dick Chester, the club secretary at the time, told the court that the board was:

"Intent on safety and segregation."

– Dick Chester

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Coroner to begin summing up at Hillsborough Inquests

Coroner, Sir John Goldring Credit: ITV Granada

The Coroner is expected to begin his summing up at the Hillsborough Inquests today.

Sir John Goldring will take the jury through the evidence after 280 days of hearings into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans. His summing up is expected to last around three weeks before they jury is asked to consider its conclusions.

The fresh Inquests are being heard in a specially adapted courtroom in Warrington. These are the longest running inquests in British legal history.

Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield, now relocated for Main Stand construction work Credit: ITV Granada

Last Hillsborough Memorial Service to be held at Anfield

It's been revealed that this year the Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield, which has been held every April to remember the 96, will be the last. The Hillsborough Family Support Group, which organises the event with Liverpool Football Club, say they're hoping the final service will give them some closure. It comes as the inquests into the deaths of those who lost their lives draw to a close after nearly two years. Andy Bonner reports.

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