Hillsborough disaster film is ‘missing’

Lord Justice Goldring
Lord Justice Goldring
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Ten minutes of footage from the Hillsborough disaster is missing from handheld police tapes, a pre-inquest hearing in London was told.

Pete Weatherby QC, representing 22 of the victims’ families, said he had concerns about two tapes of footage filmed by South Yorkshire Police officers.

He told the court at a pre inquest hearing yesterday there was ‘an unexplained 10 minute gap’ in one of the 20 minute tapes.

He said the second tape, which he expected to show continuous footage, included film from the first tape.

He said: “There may be integrity issues here.”

Mr Weatherby asked coroner Lord Justice Goldring to allow an expert to copy the tapes and analyse them.

During a break in the proceedings, campaigner Margaret Aspinall said: “What went on in those 10 minutes? Give us the whole jigsaw, we need it, warts and all.”

Lord Justice Goldring said he would disclose which officers had refused to cooperate if ‘relevant’.

Christina Lambert QC, lead counsel for the inquest, said ‘very substantial progress’ had been made since the last hearing in October.

She said 68,000 pages of material, including 160 witness statements, had been handed over and more new evidence would be disclosed in the new year.

The hearing took place at the Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch, London.

The coroner also discussed the process by which the jury would be selected for the full inquests, which are due to start in Warrington by March 31 next year.

Jurors will have to complete a questionnaire and declare whether they or their relatives have ever worked for the police.

Lord Justice Goldring dismissed the possibility of the inquests being broadcast live because the law would have to be changed. But the proceedings could be streamed live on the internet.

Jurors will not sit on the disaster’s 25th anniversary.