Socialist Worker

Hillsborough cop says inaccuracy in statement was not "deliberate"

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2475

A police officer on duty during the Hillsborough disaster has denied deliberately lying in his statement.

Some 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of a crush at the Sheffield stadium in April 1989. 

John Lawrence gave evidence to fresh inquests into their deaths on Thursday of last week.

He told the court he thought he carried 16 year old Kester Ball from pen 3. But footage showed that supporters lifted Kester from the pen. Lawrence said in a statement, “At no time had I seen any civilian giving assistance to the injured.”

Peter Wilcock, representing Kester’s family, suggested that the recording of this inaccuracy was “deliberate”. Lawrence denied this.

The court was read evidence from Kester’s father Roger Ball, now deceased.

He told the first inquests, “I recall seeing a police officer walking from my left to my right across the south stand in a very slow manner with his arms behind his back.

“People were shouting at him to open the gate or to do something and he was just ignoring those cries.”

Former police inspector Kerry Paul Grace said he was asked to take some bodies to a makeshift mortuary. He told the court that he didn’t ask officers to check any of the bodies.

“I think I probably just presumed that the bodies that we were dealing with had already been assessed as dead,” he said.

The inquests continue.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.