A DAMNING report into the Hillsborough disaster has exposed a shocking cover-up which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy on to its victims - main findings and links here.
The families of the 96 Liverpool fans killed 23 years ago said the Hillsborough Independent Report had vindicated them but pledged to carry on their fight by pursuing criminal prosecutions against those who they said should “hang their heads in shame”.
Prime Minister David Cameron led a chorus of apologies - including from former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, current Sun editor Dominic Mohan and the South Yorkshire Police (SYP) Chief Constable - and said that Attorney General Dominic Grieve will review the report as quickly as possible in order to decide whether to apply to the High Court to quash the original, flawed inquest and order a new one.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our special report.
READ MORE: See links to all our Hillsborough findings stories below.
SEE THE STAR FOR 10-PAGES OF IN DEPTH COVERAGE, REATION AND MORE ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2O12,
Here are the key findings at a glance:
* South Yorkshire Police made strenuous efforts to deflect blame onto Liverpool fans
* Police carried out criminal record checks on dead bodies in attempt to “impugn” their reputations.
* 116 comments made about the police were doctored to remove negative statements including those relating to lack of leadership
* Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was briefed about the defensive and “close to deceitful” behaviour of senior South Yorkshire officers – which was “depressingly familiar”.
* The Government thought then chief constable Peter Wright should resign
* Coroner should not have imposed a cut-off time of 3.15pm at the original inquest – evidence shows a number of the dead survived for a significant period beyond that point.
* The reports clearly states an attempt of the inquest to draw a link between blood alcohol levels and late arrival of fans was fundamentally flawed
* There were serious shortcomings by the ambulance service in their response
* Hillsborough as a football ground failed to meed minimum safety standards and the deficiencies were well known
* Turnstiles were inadequate, crush barriers failed to meet safety standards, there had been a crush at exactly the same match the year before.
* The safety of the crowd at Hillsborough was “compromised at every level”
* Rescue attempts were held back by failures of leadership and co-ordination.
* There were police efforts to develop and publicise a version of events that focused on allegations of drunkeness, ticketlessness and violence that were unfounded.
* Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher expressed concern in Cabinet that the first inquiry into the disaster contained “devastating criticism of the police.”
READ MORE and SEE MORE VIDEO - CLICK THE LINKS:
Hillsborough cover-up exposed
Hillsborough: Police ‘failed’ victims, says S Yorks Chief Constable David Crompton- VIDEO
Hillsborough: New inquest call after “shocking” findings, says Clive Betts MP - VIDEO
Owls apologise over Hillsborough
Tributes laid at Hillsborough as panel publishes papers into disaster