If you thought all the Hillsborough cover-ups had been revealed, this will shock you

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For Truth, which provides fresh information rendering the Report of The Hillsborough Independent Panel effectively ‘out-of-date’.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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7 thoughts on “If you thought all the Hillsborough cover-ups had been revealed, this will shock you

  1. Dez

    Correct, the british public are not stupid however they just do not know what goes on within the closed ranks of the establishment and secret squirrel lodges. Once the written statement is made unless one asks to see the final statement for sign off as representing the stated facts then no end of alterations and interpretations could have been made to fudge a verdict especially if it was thought it was all going to be done ‘n dusted and no one would ever review anything. Wonder how many knighthoods were dished out for services rendered following the earlier stitch up decisions when they thought they had got away with it.

  2. Barry Davies

    I think you need to see more of the handwritten notes to see whether it was a genuine mistake or a deliberate alteration of the notes there is also the possibility that the Police officer either misheard or had his own opinion when the word mixed was uttered, there are many variables that means the claim based on that evidence is conclusive, is debatable.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Mr Lewis would have seen ALL the handwritten notes when he reviewed them. The mistake – or alteration – is in the typed version. There is no question of the person who produced the handwritten notes misunderstanding – the handwriting is not good but it is very clear that the word on the page cannot possibly be “pissed”. So nobody misheard anything.
      The issue is entirely with the person who typed up the handwritten notes. They decided to substitute one word for another.
      That seems unlikely.

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