THE Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report had made the following key points:
FAILURE OF THE AUTHORITIES
* Crowd safety ‘compromised at every level’.
* Hillsborough Stadium failed to meet minimum standards, and had ‘well known’ deficiencies.
* Inadequate turnstiles, and crush barriers that failed to meet safety standards.
* Ground capacity significantly over-calculated.
* Lessons not learned from a crush at same match the year before.
* Shortcomings in ambulance and emergency services’ response.
* Major incident plan not fully implemented.
* Rescue attempts held back by failures of leadership and co-ordination.
* Delay from the emergency services when people were being crushed and killed.
ATTEMPT TO BLAME THE FANS
* Families right to believe there was a cover-up by the authorities.
* South Yorkshire Police made strenuous efforts to deflect blame onto Liverpool fans
* Police issued briefings to media which tried to change record of events.
* Newspapers reported false allegations that fans were drunk, violent and stole from the dead.
* The source of the false allegations was a Sheffield news agency which - as a result of police efforts ‘to develop and publicise a version of events that focused on drunkenness, ticketlessness and violence’ - reported conversations with police and Irvine Patnick, then Sheffield Hallam MP.
* Police reports altered.
* 164 statements significantly amended - 116 removed negative comments about policing.
* Police carried out computer checks on the dead in a bid to besmirch their names.
ORIGINAL CORONER’S INQUEST
* Coroner took advice of pathologists that victims suffered traumatic asphyxia leading to unconsciousness within seconds, and death within a few minutes.
* But 28 of the dead did not have obstruction of blood circulation, and 31 had evidence of heart and lungs continuing to function after the crush.
* Coroner should not have imposed a cut-off time of 3.15pm at the original inquest - evidence shows a number of the dead survived beyond that point.
* Coroner took alcohol levels from the blood of all the deceased, including children, with ‘no rationale’.
* Attorney General to decide whether the High Court should quash original inquest and seek new one.
SEE THE STAR FOR A 10-PAGE HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER REPORT SPECIAL - THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012.