Hillsborough officer denies lying on oath

Jurors visited Hillsborough in May. PA

Jurors visited Hillsborough in May. PA

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A former South Yorkshire Police officer accused of lying in his evidence to previous Hillsborough Disaster inquiries has told the new inquests he did not lie under oath.

On Tuesday, PC Trevor Bichard who was operating the CCTV cameras on the day of the disaster in April 1989, told the new inquests in Warrington he couldn’t explain why a police request to close the gates to the Leppings Lane tunnel before the kick off was wiped from the history of the tragedy.

In interviews with the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Operation Resolve, the criminal investigation into the disaster, Mr Bichard claimed closing the tunnel to the central pens on Leppings Lane was never discussed in the control box.

But the inquest was shown a log Mr Bichard made the day after the disaster, in which an entry from 2.55pm said: “From officers rear of Leppings Lane - shut the gates at the rear of the tunnel.”

Mr Bichard said he could not explain how the log had ‘mysteriously vanished’ from subsequent documents prepared about the disaster or why he had failed to mention it when interviewed.

But yesterday Mr Bichard said he now believed he was referring to another gate in the notes.

Paul Greaney, for the Police Federation, said: “Having had overnight to reflect, do you believe the message you recorded at 2.55pm was a reference to the doors to the tunnel, or a reference to gate C?”

Mr Bichard said he now believed it related to exit gate C, which was opened to let fans in from Leppings Lane, rather than the gates at the rear of the Leppings Lane tunnel, leading to the pens where the crush occurred.

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