Hillsborough Disaster

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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:00 am

bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
There is no mention in the report of any police statement saying that any fan urinated on the pitch or bottom of the terraces.

Can you please explain section 2-12-99 (below) in the report then? Do you agree that a policewoman giving resuscitation would be doing so on the pitch, or at the bottom of the terraces?

Some officers were injured and some stories were told to the Secretary [Middup] which were horrific. One story being that a policewoman who was giving resuscitation was urinated on. Other police officers were verbally abused and had stuff thrown at them and spat on. Some officers saw people picking coins up from the floor which had obviously come from the victims. Mr Middup said that was how it was portrayed to him that night by individuals under tremendous strain.
Aren't stories hearsay rather than presented as "fact"? This wouldn't necessarily make them part of a police statement.

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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by mummywhycantieatcrayons » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:02 pm

bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
There is no mention in the report of any police statement saying that any fan urinated on the pitch or bottom of the terraces.

Can you please explain section 2-12-99 (below) in the report then? Do you agree that a policewoman giving resuscitation would be doing so on the pitch, or at the bottom of the terraces?

Some officers were injured and some stories were told to the Secretary [Middup] which were horrific. One story being that a policewoman who was giving resuscitation was urinated on. Other police officers were verbally abused and had stuff thrown at them and spat on. Some officers saw people picking coins up from the floor which had obviously come from the victims. Mr Middup said that was how it was portrayed to him that night by individuals under tremendous strain.
That paragraph is not from a police statement or even a reporter writing what a police officer had said to him/her.

That is from the minutes of a meeting at which only police were present. So it is the shorthand paraphrasing of a police officer's paraphrasing (to other police officers) of what he remembers being told by other police officers between 6.15-7pm on the day of the incident.

As I say, chinese whispers distorting things at an emotional and frantic time seem more likely than deliberate fabrications to me.

In the report, the panel, to its credit, does not say that outright and calculated lies were told, but had it been truly independent, it would surely have considered, in print, the possible power of chinese whispers (and an unscrupulous tabloid press) in a chaotic and emotionally charged environment following one of the worst peacetime disasters in modern British history.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Prufrock » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:34 pm

mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:Nah, there is now surely no deficiency in the evidence - there's a very detailed picture of who did what and when. I think an open verdict is just as unlikely.

The Marchioness case is interesting - it's unusual in that the captain of the offending ship himself died and so couldn't stand trial. But the key difference is this: people knew that failure to observe good practice in that stretch of water would put lives at risk. Wrongly, with hindsight, that's just not how anyone felt about policing football matches back then.
Do they need to be able to pin manslaughter on anyone in particular though? I thought the key question is how/why they died, not who (if anyone) killed them. Do the previous non-fatal crushes, the inexperience of the match day commander, the changes in policing, the lack of safety certificate for Hillsborough not mean there is a chance any inquest would think their deaths were not accidental, that they were due to gross negligence by somebody, even if they can't say who, and so come to an open verdict? As it happens, from my limited knowledge of circumstances, I think 'accidental death' is likely, I'm just wondering what it is you have read that makes you think it is a cast-iron certainty. Genuinely, it is hard to have a proper opinion on Hillsborough, there are so many people saying so many things!
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by mummywhycantieatcrayons » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:29 pm

Prufrock wrote: I thought the key question is how/why they died, not who (if anyone) killed them.
No, the key question is 'has there been a breach of the criminal law?'.

And although there is a hell of a lot a fault spread around the various parts of the chain of organisations, I think it's impossible to say that any one person or organisation on their own was so negligent in his/its duties as to constitute criminal recklessness in the face of a possibility of death.

Indeed, best practice was so bad then that it is very difficult to say who owed what duty at that time. Crucially, neither the police nor the Club had a clear duty to count people entering the ground and the number in any one pen. This muddled arrangement was highly undesirable but is precisely why one party cannot be said to have been grossly negligent on its own.

So, to put this in very simple terms - if three different people all contribute to an accidental death with their negligence, but the conduct of each falls just short of being a breach of the criminal law, then the verdict HAS to be 'accidental death', even though there is a shedload of very serious fault around.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Lord Kangana » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:50 am

Who's the third contributer?
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by mummywhycantieatcrayons » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:31 am

It's hypothetical - who are the first two?!
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:52 am

mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
There is no mention in the report of any police statement saying that any fan urinated on the pitch or bottom of the terraces.

Can you please explain section 2-12-99 (below) in the report then? Do you agree that a policewoman giving resuscitation would be doing so on the pitch, or at the bottom of the terraces?

Some officers were injured and some stories were told to the Secretary [Middup] which were horrific. One story being that a policewoman who was giving resuscitation was urinated on. Other police officers were verbally abused and had stuff thrown at them and spat on. Some officers saw people picking coins up from the floor which had obviously come from the victims. Mr Middup said that was how it was portrayed to him that night by individuals under tremendous strain.
That paragraph is not from a police statement or even a reporter writing what a police officer had said to him/her.

That is from the minutes of a meeting at which only police were present. So it is the shorthand paraphrasing of a police officer's paraphrasing (to other police officers) of what he remembers being told by other police officers between 6.15-7pm on the day of the incident.

As I say, chinese whispers distorting things at an emotional and frantic time seem more likely than deliberate fabrications to me.

In the report, the panel, to its credit, does not say that outright and calculated lies were told, but had it been truly independent, it would surely have considered, in print, the possible power of chinese whispers (and an unscrupulous tabloid press) in a chaotic and emotionally charged environment following one of the worst peacetime disasters in modern British history.
You are differentiating here between written and verbal statements? Unless it was completely made up the policewoman involved must have made a verbal statement to begin the allegation?

Regardless of how the allegation was started, this is what senior police officers put out to the press, that Liverpool fans urinated on police officers treating the dead. So I'd be interested on your thoughts on the following:

1.) It is certain that no Liverpool fans did actually urinate on police officers treating the dead, the whole disaster was live on TV, and TV cameras were focused on the part of the terrace where everyone died, and on the part of the pitch were the dead were treated/handled. Surely, any evidence supporting the allegations would have been produced by now?
2.) If we are to say that the original allegations were made inaccurately, but understandably in what was a time of huge stress and trauma (I struggle to see even under such conditions such allegations can accidentally be made, but hey ho), then surely there is negligence in allowing false allegations to progress all the way up the chain of command and through the South Yorkshire Police Federation (then responsible for police media communications) without basic checking? I struggle with putting this down to human emotion, and unfortunate chinese whispers, these meetings between the SYP and SYPF occurred days after the disaster. There surely is and was a requirement that the police force (handling information is essentially the main part of their job is it not?) or any other public body have methods of verification before putting information out to the press?
3.) Are we therefore talking about gross negligence (in the way the SYP handled this mis-information) here as opposed to perverting the course of justice by the submission of knowingly false information? Is it possible for Liverpool fans as a group to sue for defamation? Do you have an opinion as to why the charge Manslaughter through gross negligence will not be made against SYP for the whole disaster? Wasn't this mentioned as a possibility by the IPCC chairwoman this weekend?
4.) Do you still believe there wasn't a conspiracy/cover up here? Nick Clegg used the words "cover up" in reference to Hillsborough over the weekend without any qualification.

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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by mummywhycantieatcrayons » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:22 am

Fair play, Bristol. I thought I was tenacious and sad.
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote: You are differentiating here between written and verbal statements? Unless it was completely made up the policewoman involved must have made a verbal statement to begin the allegation?
No I'm not. I'm differentiating between statements made to outside parties (such as the press) and conversations within the police force. It's very clear that the passage you have highlighted is from the minutes of an internal police meeting, not a 'statement' to an inquiry or a reporter, either in writing or orally.
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote: Regardless of how the allegation was started, this is what senior police officers put out to the press, that Liverpool fans urinated on police officers treating the dead.
The report does not say that any police officer told the press that fans were urinating on police officers at the bottom of the terrace and pitch level. I think that all the police comments were based on first hand experience or a hearsay retelling of the version of events in the last page of this statement, which I think is probably what happened: http://hillsborough.independent.gov.uk/ ... 890001.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:So I'd be interested on your thoughts on the following:

1.) It is certain that no Liverpool fans did actually urinate on police officers treating the dead, the whole disaster was live on TV, and TV cameras were focused on the part of the terrace where everyone died, and on the part of the pitch were the dead were treated/handled. Surely, any evidence supporting the allegations would have been produced by now?
Yes, I think that is certain. I also don't think that was alleged by police officers.
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote: 2.) If we are to say that the original allegations were made inaccurately, but understandably in what was a time of huge stress and trauma (I struggle to see even under such conditions such allegations can accidentally be made, but hey ho), then surely there is negligence in allowing false allegations to progress all the way up the chain of command and through the South Yorkshire Police Federation (then responsible for police media communications) without basic checking? I struggle with putting this down to human emotion, and unfortunate chinese whispers, these meetings between the SYP and SYPF occurred days after the disaster. There surely is and was a requirement that the police force (handling information is essentially the main part of their job is it not?) or any other public body have methods of verification before putting information out to the press?
To repeat, I don't think the police made the specific allegations you are asking about - I think they were variations on the last page of this statement, which I believe to be more or less accurate: http://hillsborough.independent.gov.uk/ ... 890001.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My actual opinion is that it's unprofessional for police to be saying these things despite the fact that they were grounded in truth.
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:3.) Are we therefore talking about gross negligence (in the way the SYP handled this mis-information) here as opposed to perverting the course of justice by the submission of knowingly false information? Is it possible for Liverpool fans as a group to sue for defamation? Do you have an opinion as to why the charge Manslaughter through gross negligence will not be made against SYP for the whole disaster? Wasn't this mentioned as a possibility by the IPCC chairwoman this weekend?
Oh dear. It would take a 6-month weekly evening class in the English legal system to unpick all that rubbish. Suffice to say that no, 'Liverpool fans', or even the few thousand at that game, is not a sufficiently defined group to sue for defamation.

Yes, I have an opinion as to why SYP police will not be charged with corporate manslaughter. It's because I don't think they acted recklessly in the face of a known risk of death at the time, because I don't think that the scope of their duty of care was well defined on the day and because they share the blame with the FA, SWFC (and their engineering safety consultants), Sheffield City Council and the Liverpool fans themselves. And because there are strong public policy reasons not to go after police doing a tough job when they make bad decisions under pressure, but doing what they believe is the best they can at the time, even if they come up tragically short. There are exceptions, of course, such as the Jean Charles de Menezes case, because wrongful death is absolutely likely when the shoot to kill policy is involved.

I don't know what the IPCC chairwoman said, but what I do know is that she doesn't have the power to prosecute anyone for anything. The IPCC deals exclusively with police conduct matters, not criminal charges, which are the responsibility of Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions at the head of the Crown Prosecution. Starmer is playing along and has said that the CPS will review the case for bringing charges... I think he will see that no convictions are likely and that it would be a waste of time and resources to bring charges (he is legally obliged only to prosecute when there is a reasonable chance of conviction).
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:4.) Do you still believe there wasn't a conspiracy/cover up here? Nick Clegg used the words "cover up" in reference to Hillsborough over the weekend without any qualification.
There's been a political decision to appease the Hillsborough groups absolutely and put this to bed by telling them what they want to hear - surely that much is clear from the panel line-up posted above?

Personally I think 'cover-up', with its Orwellian connotations, is the wrong term, because I understand that to mean the suppression or concealment of substantive facts. I don't believe that has happened.

Yes, some of the mood music around 'chaos' and 'lack of leadership' that was critical of the police was removed from the statements - given that this was not evidence taken under CJA rules, and that the evidence would not be cross examined in court, I think the solicitors advising SYP would themselves have been negligent not to have suggested some sort of mild revision process that they proposed and led, especially with compensation contribution proceedings on the horizon.
Last edited by mummywhycantieatcrayons on Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Lord Kangana » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:23 am

mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:It's hypothetical - who are the first two?!
Well theres a clear duty of care by the club, because they were required to have a safety certificate. Which they didn't have. Cutting through the legalese, theres grounds for a corporate manslaughter charge.

I would suggest that the case will be less clear cut for the police, though there are myriad rules governing what they should and shouldn't be doing to prevent crime in public. Though you'll be able to throw in perverting the course of justice, accessory after the fact etc. Its more likely that the Police will simply suffer at the hands of some kind of judicial review or public enquiry. Nevertheless, public servants are held to a higher standard of scrutiny than their private counterparts. I'd be utterly amazed if there weren't repercussions in the future.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:04 am

mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:Fair play, Bristol. I thought I was tenacious and sad.
:)
mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
No I'm not. I'm differentiating between statements made to outside parties (such as the press) and conversations within the police force. It's very clear that the passage you have highlighted is from the minutes of an internal police meeting, not a 'statement' to an inquiry or a reporter, either in writing or orally.



The report does not say that any police officer told the press that fans were urinating on police officers at the bottom of the terrace and pitch level. I think that all the police comments were based on first hand experience or a hearsay retelling of the version of events in the last page of this statement, which I think is probably what happened: http://hillsborough.independent.gov.uk/ ... 890001.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:So I'd be interested on your thoughts on the following:

1.) It is certain that no Liverpool fans did actually urinate on police officers treating the dead, the whole disaster was live on TV, and TV cameras were focused on the part of the terrace where everyone died, and on the part of the pitch were the dead were treated/handled. Surely, any evidence supporting the allegations would have been produced by now?
mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:

Yes, I think that is certain. I also don't think that was alleged by police officers.
mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
To repeat, I don't think the police made the specific allegations you are asking about - I think they were variations on the last page of this statement, which I believe to be more or less accurate: http://hillsborough.independent.gov.uk/ ... 890001.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My actual opinion is that it's unprofessional for police to be saying these things despite the fact that they were grounded in truth.

Well my friend, here, I completely disagree. The report has a whole section devoted to how these allegations against the fans made it into the national media. It is section 2-12 in part2 of the report. If you really believe that no one from the SYP told the press about these allegations, I would ask you to re-read this part of the report. Here are a couple of paragraphs, but there are many more that are relevant:

2.12.88 In the wake of public outrage that followed the publication of the allegations and the lack of substantiating evidence from independent witnesses or CCTV coverage, White's News Agency was under considerable pressure to confirm its sources. White's detailed the background in a memorandum to the Evening Standard, one of the first newspapers to break the story.[43]

2.12.89 It stated that '[a]ll the allegations in the stories we filed were made, unsolicited, by ranking officers in the South Yorkshire force to three different experienced senior journalists who are partners in this agency'. The officers 'had been on duty at Hillsborough'.


mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
Yes, I have an opinion as to why SYP police will not be charged with corporate manslaughter. It's because I don't think they acted recklessly in the face of a known risk of death at the time, because I don't think that the scope of their duty of care was well defined on the day and because they share the blame with the FA, SWFC (and their engineering safety consultants), Sheffield City Council and the Liverpool fans themselves. And because there are strong public policy reasons not to go after police doing a tough job when they make bad decisions under pressure, but doing what they believe is the best they can at the time, even if they come up tragically short. There are exceptions, of course, such as the Jean Charles de Menezes case, because wrongful death is absolutely likely when the policy of shoot to kill policy is involved.
I understand your point here, and can given your legal expertise can be persuaded to agree with you, but I am interested into what would constitute recklessness in the context you use that word above. A lot of lay people would interpret the following as recklessness:

1.) Not controlling the flow fans into the Leppings Lane area of the stadium despite this being done in previous years, and despite knowledge that this area could not handle a large build up of fans prior to a big game.
2.) Giving an order to open an exit gate to allow fans into the stadium, and then not controlling which part of the terrace these fans went into (i.e. not blocking off access to the central pens) despite this being done in previous years.
3.) Not acting when people were clearly in distress despite having a prefect vantage point in the Police control box, and despite having zoom cameras focused on the central pens where people were dying.
4.) Treating the tragedy as a pitch invasion.
5.) Not invoking the emergency procedure for big incidents.


bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:4.) Do you still believe there wasn't a conspiracy/cover up here? Nick Clegg used the words "cover up" in reference to Hillsborough over the weekend without any qualification.
mummywhycantieatcrayons wrote:
There's been a political decision to appease the Hillsborough groups absolutely and put this to bed by telling them what they want to hear - surely that much is clear from the panel line-up posted above?

Personally I think 'cover-up', with its Orwellian connotations, is the wrong term, because I understand that to mean the suppression or concealment of substantive facts. I don't believe that has happened.

Yes, some of the mood music around 'chaos' and 'lack of leadership' that was critical of the police was removed from the statements - given that this was not evidence taken under CJA rules, and that the evidence would not be cross examined in court, I think the solicitors advising SYP would themselves have been negligent not to have suggested some sort of mild revision process that they proposed and led, especially with compensation contribution proceedings on the horizon.
[/quote]

There is a story, not in the report, but out there in print, that a special constable was forced, by that I mean bullied by West Midlands Police, to completely change her statement so that one of the dead would fit into the 3.15 cut off time criteria. Does that not represent the suppression of substantive facts? Is the what is now accepted incorrect imposition of the 3.15 cut off time, thus preventing evidence from past 3.15 not suppression/concealment of substantive facts?
Last edited by bristol_Wanderer3 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Lord Kangana » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:46 am

Anyway, they're attempting to have the original inquest verdict of accidental death quashed.

All this debating will get an answer one way or another as and when that does/n't happen.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Prufrock » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:25 am

Crayons...I'm going off books by lawyers, rather than law books here, but:

There are four questions asked at an inquest: Who, where, when and how/why. First three self-explanatory. Lawful killing obviously isn't on the table here, so we have accidental death; unlawful killing by whomever; or open verdict. As I said earlier the key question is why they were killed, not who killed them.

It seems clear the De Menezes inquest would have certainly considered unlawful killing had it been available, without being able to pin the cause on an individual. They didn't pin individual guilt on anyone, and yet still returned an open verdict.

Accidental death and unlawful killing speak for themselves, and open verdict means we don't have enough evidence (not we don't know). You said earlier if three people were each negligent and a combination of their negligence caused death but you couldn't pinpoint whose negligence caused death then it had to be accidental death. I'm not sure why the question needs to be one of criminal guilt for anything other than a verdict of accidental death; it isn't a criminal trial. It wasn't for De Menezes. I think accidental is the most likely, by a margin, but given the politics, and (I assume) a jury-judged inquest, unless it is taken off the table, I don't see an open verdict as impossible. Unlikely, but not impossible.

They didn't pin it on an individual for De Menezes, they didn't even pin it on an individual for the Marchioness (although they did say it was a combination of two; I'm not sure if they felt they could say it was each, or both together). I may be misunderstanding, but you seem to be saying in order to give a verdict other than accidental death, they have to reach a criminal threshold. If that is the case there cannot be an open verdict, surely then it is either accidental, or unlawful?

I agree there isn't a chance of criminal charges, for individuals or SWP or SWFC. As much as LK would like them tarred and feathered, the CMCHA is written in legalese. Is 'Corporate Manslaughter' even relevant given the act is from 2007? If so, you'd struggle to define the duty owed, you'd struggle to argue any individual breach was 'gross' given contempory H&S legislation is specifically mentioned, and you'd struggle to argue any individual breach caused death. That's for SWP and SWFC. You'd be knackered chasing individuals.

There is so much stuff regarding who said what to the press and rumours of deliberately false leaks that there could be internal questions for police and politicians to answer though...
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Lord Kangana » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:40 am

The acts governing having relevant safety certificates for grounds are from (as I recall) 1975 and 1987. Its not really my desire, more if the original inquest is quashed, then a chance to assign blame arises. Further, the CPS's own guidlines set out that:
The word pervert can mean 'alter' but the behaviour does not have to go that far - any act that interferes with an investigation or causes it to head in the wrong direction may tend to pervert the course of justice
So, do I think this will go further? Yes. I think, under the current climate it would be a little disingenuous for mummy to suggest notthing will ever happen. Whether any convictions, individual or collective, are brought is a wholly different matter to their being either a new inquest or even trial.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Prufrock » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:57 am

Inquests are not criminal trials, they aren't about blame. There is no prosecution and no defence, only 'interested parties'. They answer the four questions I mentioned earlier. Even if they came to a verdict of unlawful killing (which they wont, there just is not the evidence) they'd be giving a general verdict on the whole operation. There would then have to be criminal charges against individuals (or SWP/SWFC if the 2007 act applies, Crayons?) beyond reasonable doubt. I wouldn't be surprised if any inquest took unlawful killing off the table, though given the fuss it caused with De Menezes they might not.

We're talking about the death of the 96 Liverpool fans here. Once you go beyond that into any lies or cover-ups you enter murky ground.
I think rumours suggest there could be misconduct charges if the evidence exists that people keeping nodding towards that I'm yet to see published. Certainly no defamation, which is miles off, and no perversion of justice given no lies have been told under oath (or so it seems). Telling lies to a journalist which later indirectly affect an investigation is not even nearly 'perverting the course of justice'.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Lord Kangana » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:00 am

And what of the untruths told to the original inquiry? Was its purpose not to discover the truth of what happened?

And besides, you're discounting the possibility of Hillsborough in '89 being reinvestigated. As such, all current assumptions are off.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Prufrock » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:06 am

I don't know. Inquests and inquiries aren't the same thing. I'm not sure, but I'd imagine any lies, if told, to the original inquiry could be the basis of a charge of perjury or perversion. I'm not aware that any individuals have been accused of lying under oath? The new inquest will have the specific task of identifying who died, when, where, and how. No more, and no less.

What do you mean by Hillsborough in '89 being reinvestigated? In terms of criminal guilt for the dead, or what happened afterwards. If guilt, who?
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Lord Kangana » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:17 am

In the possible new context of it being a crime scene.

Remember, the move at the moment is to strike from the record the conclusion of accidental death for all 96. And replace it with what? Thats when we go down the rabbit hole. If it is removed, the next question you must ask yourself is why, for what reason? Insufficient evidence? It would appear all the evidence is out there somewhere.

Which leads you to ask about full and frank disclosure. The police have not got the political friends they had in '89. It would be naive to assume that the law is an immutable constant. It can (and is) maleable when considered politically expedient. I believe (and it is just a belief, a hunch, if you will) that that time is somewhere around now.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Prufrock » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:33 am

You can't just that 'that is bad and should be a crime though'. People keep referring to gross negligence manslaughter. That's a very specific offence, all facets of which must be committed by one individual and which just isn't even nearly made out on the facts. I'm not even sure 'corporate manslaughter' could apply retrospectively, but even if it could that is another very specific offence which isn't even nearly made out on the facts.

In terms of the inquest, we aren't talking about 'replacing' verdicts. The original inquest worked from the basis no-one could have been saved beyond 3.15, and so didn't take into account anything after that. There is strong evidence that this may not have been the case and so the inquest will be redone. This absolutely does not mean the new verdict wont also be one of accidental death. I think accidental death is the likely verdict, but I don't discount the political aspect which is why I'm not convinced an open verdict is impossible. It isn't just a case of asking a jury what they think. They have to answer specific questions, and if the coroner thinks a verdict of, say unlawful killing, cannot be made out, it wont be offered to the jury.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by Lord Kangana » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:41 am

I'm not saying that at all. And besides which, you seem to be casting aside the adversarial nature of our judicial system.

For one, an individual, somewhere along the line, had to take the decision that it was not cost-effective to reapply for a valid safety certificate. That could be, and probably is, a whole group of individuals.

And secondly, somebody, under somebody elses orders, opened the gate allowing the crush.

Sequentially, there are individuals at the heart of theses decisions. As much as there are individuals at the heart of the campaign to steer the subsequent inquiry off course.
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Re: Hillsborough Disaster

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:51 am

Lord Kangana wrote: Which leads you to ask about full and frank disclosure. The police have not got the political friends they had in '89. It would be naive to assume that the law is an immutable constant. It can (and is) maleable when considered politically expedient. I believe (and it is just a belief, a hunch, if you will) that that time is somewhere around now.
Also, even given Crayons point about it not being sound public policy to go after police officers, what we are talking about here is going after police officers from a time we as a country claim to have moved on from, a time when it is now acknowledged that the Police force and other public organisations weren't always able to escape their prejudices, and sometimes acted criminally themselves, and when they did so, weren't always held to account.

So politically, it looks like a positive to make an example out of those bad old days, so it can be shown that there can be confidence in the practices and transparency of today. On top of that, there does seem a compulsion to find every possible way to find a way of blaming somebody, to justify the effort and expense of all these inquiries, and to avoid raising the hopes of the families only for the system not to help them again.

Whether there is a will to prosecute very old ex police officers, or whether there is the quality of evidence available does seem doubtful though.

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