Police officers pushed escaping fans back into Hillsborough terrace crush, court hears

Inger Shah, who died at Hillsborough. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo
Inger Shah, who died at Hillsborough. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo
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Police officers pushed fans desperately trying to escape the crush at Hillsborough back on to the terraces, the new inquests have been told.

Stephen Oates, giving evidence about the deaths of friends Inger Shah and Marian McCabe, said he saw supporters trying to get out of the crush.

Marian McCabe, one of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo.

Marian McCabe, one of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo.

He said: “While I was being crushed in pen three I could see fans desperately trying to escape the crush by trying to climb over the front fence onto the track.

“I saw police officers initially physically pushing fans back down into the pen as they tried to escape the crush before eventually a small gate at the front of the pen was opened.”

Adrian Taylor, a police officer in 1989, also gave evidence today and confirmed he was one of the officers who pushed people back on to the terraces as part of an attempt to get the crowd to move back.

The court heard Inger, a 38-year-old mother-of-two, and Marian, who was 21, were at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with a group of friends.

Inger’s son Daniel, who was 13 at the time, attended the game with them and had to assist with identifying a picture of her body after she died in the crush.

Another witness, Gary Oyitch, described being caught in the crush next to the two women.

He said a crowd surge at 2.56pm squashed him against a fence unable to move and he felt in ‘mortal danger’.

Mr Oyitch said Inger appeared dead and Marian looked ‘lifeless’ as another spectator tried to help her.

He says he was standing in front of one of the barriers that broke and passed out.

“Everything sort of turned white and I thought to myself ‘This is serious’, because I heard the ambulance and I just remember saying goodbye to my family,” he said.

Mr Oyitch said a female police officer was touching his face through the fence as he came round and he managed to climb out off the terraces before collapsing by the goalpost on the pitch.

Keith Owen, another witness who had been on the Leppings Lane terrace, said police initially refused to open a gate on to the pitch.

He said: “I eventually had to swear at them to get them to open the gate.

“I climbed out, one of the first two or three people out.”

He said he saw Marian who appeared to be ‘definitely dead’ and attempted to reach her but was unable to get her out.

The inquest continues.