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Martin Odoni, over at The Critique Archives, provides excellent insight into new evidence that police distorted the inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster.

It comes from a documentary by Peter Marshall on ITV, Hillsborough: Smears, Survivors & The Search For Truth, which provides fresh information rendering the Report of The Hillsborough Independent Panel effectively ‘out-of-date’.

The new documentary provided less focus on the South Yorkshire Police, paid more attention to the misconduct of the West Midlands Police, the much-neglected Hillsborough Justice Campaign was given more recognition than the Hillsborough Families Support Group and there was more of an outlet for traumatised survivors of the Disaster and not only for the bereaved families.

Mr Odoni writes:

The only detail I want to dwell on for now though is the interview with Ray Lewis. He was the referee for the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough, and was famously the man who blew the whistle and ordered the players to clear the pitch six minutes into the game when fans spilled over from the overcrowded terrace.

Lewis reveals that he gave a verbal statement to Superintendent Barry Mason of the West Midlands Police after the Disaster. During the statement, he described the crowd outside the stadium on the day of the tragedy as ‘mixed’, by which he meant that he saw Liverpool and Nottingham Forest supporters mingling freely, peacefully and in good spirits.

A quarter of a century later, Lewis finally got to see the type-up of his words, and to his consternation, he found that the word mixed had been substituted with the word pissed. An investigator from the Independent Police Complaints Commission discussed the alteration with Lewis, and apparently concluded that it was probably just a typographical error.

I reckon this is a classic IPCC excuse for being too lazy to investigate. To my mind, the odds on the change-of-words being an error are pretty remote.

Judge for yourself:

[Image: The Critique Archives.]

Mr Odoni admits – as had Mr Lewis – that the handwriting was poor, but it seems clear that the first letter in the word is not a ‘p’.

Also – and he puts it very well:

Is it not just a bit too much of a coincidence that the word the officer chose as a substitute ‘just happened’ to be slang for drunkenness? Of all the possible substitutes the typist could have chosen, and there must be dozens, (s)he ‘just happened’ to choose the one that emphasises the impression of drunk-and-disorderly behaviour, which ‘just happened’ to be the very impression that officers in both West Midlands and South Yorkshire had been trying so very hard to convey.

I agree, and can only echo his concluding sentiment: “Not for the first time when discussing the Hillsborough Disaster, I find myself asking the question, ‘Do the British police really think the public are that stupid?’

Source: Hillsborough: You Think ‘P*ssed’ Was A Typo? Well I Don’t | TheCritique Archives

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