Police ‘pushed fans back down into pens,’ Hillsborough inquests hears

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A police sergeant has told the new Hillsborough inquests that he saw officers pushing football fans ‘back down’ into the Leppings Lane pens.

Adrian Brazener, who was a sergeant for Nottinghamshire Police in 1989 when 96 football fans died, told the jury that as he walked across the pitch at about 3.10pm he saw supporters on the grass and thought there was a pitch invasion.

Mr Brazener told the jury he believed he saw police officers on the fence, preventing fans from getting them onto the pitch.

He said: “I actually came up to the fencing and I was pulling on police officers saying ‘for goodness sake, let them get over the fence’, because just prior to that I’d seen the face of a young woman being pressed through the fencing and I could see other people clearly distressed and in trouble and I assessed it then that it was never a pitch invasion, it was people who were desperately in trouble.”

Mr Brazener said he radioed to request the pens be opened, and agreed there was no direction or leadership coming from match control.

The hearing continues.