Inquests are continuing into the deaths of 96
Police woman Fiona Nicol was on duty at the
She said she thought senior officers “tried to divert the blame for what happened on officers on the ground and on the fans”.
Nicol described how one senior officer “encouraged” her to change her statement about the day so she didn’t describe pens 3 and 4 as “full”.
She said officers asked her whether she had a ticket or had been drinking “so many times it was unreal”.
“They actually wanted to confiscate my ticket,” she told the jury. “They said they wanted it for evidence. I point blank refused. I said, ‘I know what your game is – you’re not pinning this on us’.”
“They were laughing,” he said. “And I thought I was in a nightmare. I just couldn’t credit it.”
“It was almost as if nobody had said anything to them,” he told the inquests. “They just sort of stood there.”
Under questioning he later accepted that these fans were no different to him when he joined the crowd earlier.
He told the jury that fans weren’t to blame for the disaster. “In my view, the disaster at Hillsborough was not caused by the fans arriving late,” he said.
“The problem was a lack of turnstiles and fans couldn’t get in. All that needed to happen was for the match to be delayed.
“The deflection of blame onto those that died and supporters is what I find very difficult to deal with, having been there myself.”
Dolores Steele, whose 15 year old son Philip died in the disaster, gave evidence on Wednesday of last week. She said it was “unforgiveable” that blood samples were taken from Philip to test for alcohol.
Dolores described how police questioned her husband in the wake of Philip’s death. “He was just a zombie when he walked out of that room,” she told the jury.
“And his words to me were, ‘they have grilled me in there for over an hour and I know what they’re going to say. They’re going to say the fans were all drunk.’”
The inquests continue.