Socialist Worker

Hillsborough cop: ‘I was one of the officers who pushed people back into the pen’

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2464

Fresh inquests into the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster are continuing to hear evidence about fans’ last movements.

The court heard evidence relating to 38 year old victim Inger Shah and 21 year old victim Marian McCabe last week.

Fan Stephen Oates went to the match with Inger and Marian. They went into pen 3.

In a recent statement he said, “While I was being crushed in pen three I could see fans desperately trying to escape the crush by trying to climb over the front fence onto the track.

“I saw police officers initially physically pushing fans back down into the pen.”

The court was read the evidence of fan Martin Malone, who was also in pen 3. He said, “The screaming continued, but the police, unaware what was going on, took no notice.

“From that point onwards I became aware that several of the people around me, including the lady in front of me, had died.”

A photograph showed Martin standing directly behind Marian.

The court was also read the evidence of PC Martin Russell Cooper. He described seeing Marian “pressed up against the fence”. He said, “At this stage this woman appeared to be alive.”

Cooper later described pulling people out of the pen through the gate. He said he looked again at Marian and “it was obvious that she was dead”.

Escaped

Fan Gillian Cole described seeing Marian from the pitch after she escaped the crush. 

She said, “Her face was turning blue. As I watched, I saw her eyes roll around and then just close.”

Former police officer Adrian Taylor said he thought Inger and Marian were dead in the pen. 

He told the court, “I was one of the officers who pushed people back into the pen.”

Fan Peter McGrath carried a woman thought to be Marian on an advertising hoarding across the pitch to the gym.

He said, “As we went through the door, a man in a dark uniform wearing a flat hat looked at me and said, ‘dead or alive?’. 

“And the bloke who had hold of her upper body—I think he was a policeman—said ‘dead’. 

“So we put her down in the makeshift area where other dead people with sheets covering them were.

“I did not see anyone check her for signs of life. That’s why it surprised me that when we got to the gymnasium the police officer said ‘dead’.”

Former police officer Steven Maddock said he saw Inger Shah at the front of pen 3 and thought he saw her die in front of him.

The inquests will not sit during August.


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News
Tue 28 Jul 2015, 17:29 BST
Issue No. 2464
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