Boy had to examine photos of dead fans at Hillsborough to identify father

Roy Hamilton
Roy Hamilton
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A 15-year-old boy had to look through photos of dead supporters at Hillsborough to identify his father as one of the victims - despite his dad having identification on him.

Stuart Hamilton gave evidence to the new inquests about the death of his stepfather Roy Hamilton, who he considered to be his dad.

Mr Hamilton, 33, was among the 96 Liverpool supporters who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final match.

Stuart said he had been sat in the North Stand at the game, while his father, who was a senior technician for British Rail, was on the terraces.

He said after the game was called off he tried to go and find his father, leaving the stand around 4pm following a tannoy announcement.

Stuart said: “I went to the coach park, to see if he’d left earlier and gone back there, and then I returned to the rendezvous point.

“I probably did that four to five times and I also made some phone calls back to Liverpool.”

He said he eventually went to the stadium gym, where he was asked to check photographs to see if his father was among the dead.

Stuart said: “That’s probably on of the things that sticks with me the most, is all the Polaroid photographs of all the dead people before I picked out my father.

“My uncle was in front of me but he didn’t recognise my father in the photograph.”

He said he and his uncle identified his dad’s body.

His mother and other relatives arrived shortly after he’d identified him.

Stuart said: “My mother and who she’d arrived with, other relatives, were also led through the Polaroids of bodies and didn’t find my father.

“So when we left after that, they were trying to reassure me that he was OK.”

Pete Weatherby, asking questions on behalf of Mr Hamilton, said it has been established Roy Hamilton’s body had already been identified before Stuart was asked to go through the pictures.

He said to Stuart: “Just briefly touching on what happened later, you were then involved in the identification, aged 15, of your father.

“In fact, subsequently, you were to learn that on him at that time was in fact identification documents.”

Stuart said he had multiple identification on him and had been identified before he saw him.

Tony Cowgill, a police officer in 1989, told the court that he had checked Mr Hamilton’s body and he had been carrying a British Rail staff card with the surname Hamilton and a wage slip with the name of R H Hamilton.

He made a note of the items being found at 4.09pm on the day.

Christina Lambert, counsel to the inquests, said there was a ‘real paucity’ of evidence about what happened to Mr Hamilton while on the terraces. But footage was shown to the court of him in the crowd outside the turnstiles and on the Leppings Lane terraces.