Officer reported ‘honest version’ of Hillsborough

Stricken casualty being rushed off the pitch at the Hillsborough disaster.

Stricken casualty being rushed off the pitch at the Hillsborough disaster.

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A former police officer has denied vastly exaggerating the behaviour of Liverpool fans after a police chief told him ‘drunken, ticketless’ supporters were to blame for the Hillsborough disaster.

Five days after the 1989 tragedy, assistant chief constable Stuart Anderson spoke to officers at a South Yorkshire Police station and told them fans had caused the crush outside the ground which led to an exit gate being opened and fans rushing in to cause the fatal crush on the terraces.

Colin Lomas, then a sergeant, said ACC Anderson instructed them to include details which reflected that in their statements, but to leave out any references to police radios not working and staffing levels at the Leppings Lane turnstiles.

Mr Lomas told the Warrington inquests he had never seen so much alcohol drunk at a football match.

He said the ‘vast majority’ of 15,000 Liverpool fans he saw were the ‘worse for drink’, with some carrying six-packs of beer, bottles of cider and even carafes of wine.

But he accepted he had seen no drink-related trouble and no arrests were made.

Mr Lomas agreed South Yorkshire Police in the 1980s was a ‘regimented, almost military’ organisation which was ‘ruled by an iron fist’.

But he denied lying in his account of what happened.

He told the jury: “What I have reported and recorded is a honest version of what I saw.”

The hearing continues.

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