Police ‘assaulted’ dad of Hillsborough victim

Peter Wright, Former Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police
Peter Wright, Former Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police
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The father of a teenage victim of the Hillsborough disaster has claimed that he was assaulted during a meeting with South Yorkshire Police’s discredited chief constable Peter Wright

Barry Devonside, whose 18-year-old son Christopher died in the crush on April 15, 1989, said the incident happened more than 25 years ago after a police authority meeting in Barnsley.

Long serving magistrate Mr Devonside alleges that he was grabbed from behind and pinned against a wall when invited to meet the late Mr Wright – who then ‘sneered’ at him before walking off.

Mr Devonside said he was asked to follow an officer down some stairs to meet the then chief constable Peter Wright, and there were 16 or 17 more officers standing waiting.

He said: “I stuck out my hand, and an officer out of nowhere pinned me against the wall by the throat, with his other arm against my chest.

“Peter Wright just sneered at me and I said ‘you b******’.”

He added: “It was a normal meeting and Peter Wright was spewing all kinds of lies about ticketless, drunken Liverpool fans.”

Mr Devonside, aged 69, said that he believed the police were trying to intimidate him and that he is planning to write to Home Secretary Theresa May with his concerns.

He was one of a number of the Hillsborough families who met Mrs May in Warrington last week.

The meeting followed the landmark unlawful killing verdicts at the end of the two-year-long inquests into the 96 deaths.

Mr Devonside said he did not report the alleged incident at the time as he thought it would be a waste of time.

Mr Wright died five years ago, following a long illness.