Hillsborough officer told ‘what to put in statement’ by bosses

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A police sergeant working on the day of the Hillsborough disaster was told what to put in and leave out of his statement by a senior officer, a new inquest into the deaths heard.

Philip Colin Lomas said the instructions were given because of ‘blame’ towards South Yorkshire Police.

He said former Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Anderson said the disaster was the fault of ‘drunk, ticketless fans’.

Ninety six Liverpool FC fans died following the crush at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield.

Mr Lomas, who is now retired, was in charge of a group of officers patrolling on Middlewood Road to the south of the Sheffield Wednesday stadium on the day of the tragedy.

The new inquests in Warrington heard he was called to a one-to-one meeting with Supt David Nettleship on the day after the crush and told not to make any notes in his pocket notebook because of ‘blame’ being levelled at the force which was unfounded and ‘there was a need for a clear accurate account’ .

He told the court that a few days later, ACC Anderson said at a meeting with about 12 officers at Doncaster Police Station that the disaster was ‘down to drunk, ticketless fans’ and officers should not blame themselves.

The jury heard ACC Anderson wanted specific and detailed notes regarding drunkenness and the number of fans asking for tickets in officers’ accounts and not details about radios going down, poor radio transmissions or staffing levels at the turnstiles.

Christina Lambert QC, counsel to the inquests, asked Mr Lomas whether he was tempted to exaggerate after the meetings with Mr Nettleship and Mr Anderson.

He replied: “I have never exaggerated the truth.”

Mr Lomas said nothing in his notebook or his statement was exaggerated and he was ‘proud to have told the truth’.

The hearing continues today.