A senior police officer made an order to find the ‘best evidence’ of drunk and ticketless Liverpool fans causing problems at the Hillsborough disaster, a court heard.
The new inquests into the deaths of 96 supporters on April 15, 1989, was read a memo from former Chief Superintendent Terry Wain to Detective Inspector John Cleverley prior to the original inquests taking place.
The memo, written in July 1990 after Lord Justice Taylor had published his report into the disaster, asked for evidence of officers describing ‘unruly behaviour’ by supporters to be highlighted.
Mr Wain said in the memo: “In preparation for the resumed inquests proceedings, please interrogate the system to show those officers who can give the best evidence concerning unruly behaviour by Liverpool fans, non ticket-holders gaining entry, forged tickets used to gain entry, drunkenness by fans, public houses in the area being crowded out and volume of sale of intoxicants.”
Under questioning at the new hearings in Warrington, Mr Wain said he did not recall the memo and thought it had been generated as a result of a request from South Yorkshire Police’s legal team.
Mr Wain said he ‘must agree’ with Mark George QC, representing 22 families of victims, who said the memo was ‘clear evidence of an attempt to denigrate the fans’.
Mr George added the memo was ‘disgraceful’ and Mr Wain agreed, saying he was ‘not happy with what I’m reading’.
Terry Munyard, representing three families of Hillsborough victims, referred Mr Wain to an order given on the day of the disaster for police photographs to be taken outside Hillsborough showing evidence of alcohol cans and bottles.
Mr Munyard said: “Before a single statement has been taken from anybody, South Yorkshire Police, do you accept, were already starting to create the narrative that this disaster was in some way caused by drunken fans.”
Mr Wain agreed it appeared that way but he was not involved at the time.