Hillsborough charges today?

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by zztop, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. J.B

    J.B First Team

    If I am interested or passionate about a subject I usually read the evidence with an open mind, take it onboard and make the decision for myself rather than allowing my prejudices to inform my decision. However, I do also respect the verdict of the panels/juries who have spent far more time going through the case and have been privy to more information than myself. When there have been numerous independent inquests where the panel has come to pretty much the same conclusion it is especially telling.
  2. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    So was that a yes, or no?

    If no, then you shouldn't keep peddling the result of this one as proof you are right. Juries spend weeks studying evidence and still get it wrong, even without all the media hype and hullabaloo surrounding it all.

    If yes, then I suppose I can understand your confusion.

    Indeed, I may be wrong so you can correct me (and I would apologise), but I seem to remember you being one of the posters who felt strongly that, because a jury found Ched Evans guilty, he must be have done it. Only to be proved completely wrong. Was that you?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  3. J.B

    J.B First Team

    I'm not confused at all. Maybe read the last line of my post instead of editing it out and you will understand better.

    The proof is in the evidence presented to the numerous panels who considered that evidence objectively (something you are clearly incapable of doing) and ruled time and time again that the actions of Liverpool fans that day played no role in the disaster.
  4. KelsoOrn

    KelsoOrn Squad Player

    So are we to take it then that despite Liverpool fans being notorious at the time for being particularly unruly, trying to get into the stadium without tickets, more often than most being 'under the influence' (some of which behaviours continue to this day) and being entirely responsible for Heysel four years earlier that, on this day of all days, they were uniquely angelic, completely exonerated and quite correct in their 'nothing to do with us guv' stance?

    Stretches my credulity a bit ...
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  5. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    I didn't edit it. You added to it after I had chosen to reply.

    Ok, so it is me that is confused. Was it a yes or no?

    And was it you that told everyone to accept the original Ched Evans verdict?
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  6. Jossy

    Jossy Reservist

    I'm sure you're right about not all the scousers being angelic - every team has morons that follow them, particularly during that period and a minority would have been out of order that day also. But the point is - as the independent panel found - the behaviour of the fans on that day was irrelevant to the cause of the tragedy, nothing they did contributed to it. You could have transplanted any teams fans to the Leppings Lane end that day - even Watford fans, and as long as they sold out their allocation, they would have still been killed because the same mistakes would have still been made:

    1 - Duckenfield would have still been in charge.
    2 - He would've still decided not to have the check points set up along Leppings Lane to prevent a bottle neck at the turnstiles.
    3 - The stadium would have still had an out of date safety certificate, and an inadequate number of turnstiles for the amount of allocated supporters at that end of the ground.
    4 - The crush would have still occured outside because of no check points along the road.
    5 - The pens would have still been too full inside with no escape route.
    6 - Gate C would have still been opened due to the crush caused by points 2 and 3.
    7 - The gate for pens 3 and 4 would have still remained open after the pens were full.
    8 - The signage would have still been terrible and police still wouldn't have been assigned by Duckenfield to direct fans entering through gate C to head to the side pens.
    9 - The ambulance service would have still only sent 2 ambulances on to the pitch (the third ambulance being a St. Johns ambulance which was actually the first one on the scene).
    10 - The coroner Dr Stefan Popper would have still incorrectly decided on the 3:15pm cut-off time for those who needed medical attention and as has been proven now - lives could have been saved if first aid was given to the victims after this time.

    The only factor a different team playing that could have made a difference to some lives is when Peter Beardsley hit the cross bar at about 3:04pm which caused a surge that broke one of the faulty crush barriers. Had a different team been playing, the chances of hitting the cross bar at the exact same time would have been very unlikely. However, people were already dead before that happened so it would have only reduced the number of deaths, not saved everybody.

    A tiny minority of the fans most likely did behave stupidly right at the start, but were not responsible in any way for the failings of authority that lead to the disaster at that game. And as tv pictures showed - the vast majority of fans were heroes along with the policeman on the front line trying to undo the catastrophe caused by their incompetent boss.

    (I realise I may have used the word "still" too often in this post:oops:)
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  7. J.B

    J.B First Team

    You've been spouting a load of ill-informed nonsense throughout this entire thread, but I've always been able to just about follow your line of argument. I'm afraid you've completely lost me here though. What on earth are you prattling on about now? I think Ched Evans is an amoral scumbag, but I definitely wouldn't have argued that the not guilty verdict in the retrial was in anyway wrong or suggested that a conspiracy was at play to find him not guilty. I'll leave that kind of blinkered line of argument to you.

    I was a while ago now but I imagine I would have respected the guilty verdict made in the original Evans trial, with the jury acting on the basis of the evidence they had at that time. I doubt I was going around telling people to accept the verdict as indisputable fact though given that as with most rape cases it was a murky, ambiguous set of circumstances, which are incomparable in just about every way to the Hillsborough case. Why you seem to be attempting to do so is beyond me.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  8. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Way back when I first joined this forum, I was defending the police re Hillsborough as I know how hard it is to make difficult decisions in such highly charged atmosphere, with emotional people, in a split second and that I thought that there would not have been a "conspiracy" to change evidence like has happened. I have changed my view over the years to the extent that I am now I am sickened by the "cover up" and hope the guilty ones get what they deserve. I have changed my mind. No way have I been blinkered. I invite comment, I enjoy debate and discussion (but not with idiots), I have watched and read everything I can on this particular subject. I may be stubborn in my views in some respects, but I am not blinkered.

    What I believe though, is that none of the verdicts or findings of the enquiries have ever tried to suggest the fact that the victims, with no escape, were crushed by anything other than other Liverpool fans. Nowhere have they said that the actual crushes were not caused by others pushing into the football ground. Why should they, it is obvious. Of course they have said that fans turning up late or drunk did not cause the disaster. But that is completely different.

    You ask for evidence? I have given it loads of times. The victims were physically squashed by other people and those that were pushing to get in without being pushed themselves, had a choice. That is evidence as clear as the effects of gravity. It is something we learn as we grow up and at school, you shouldn't need it to be explained to you.

    Even you (who blindly and desperately argued with others for months last season that Deeney was properly prepared for the season, slim and fighting fit), cannot try to change the laws of physics. It is clear, but it seems you are desperate to believe that Liverpool fans were not desperately keen to get in to see the match at 3pm and filed in calmly and politely as though they were walking into a church.

    It is clearly you who wears the blinkers - and that is being kind.
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  9. ST1968

    ST1968 Academy Graduate

    I made a vow to myself yesterday not to comment again given the enormity of the disaster. I've failed!

    Some Liverpool fans on the day acted appallingly. The 'sainthood' around the story I also feel is totally nauseating having experienced some of their conduct at first hand as a turnstile operator in the 80s on the away end at Watford (as I have mentioned in other conversations in the past on this forum). Heysel tells us that Liverpool fans were, at the very least, in the highest bracket of unruly fans at the time.

    However, I am utterly convinced that the people who died were not killed because people pushed. That is why there is frustration that this version of events still comes up even after the inquest has ruled on it.

    To explain...the force of those at the back, the <5% of the crowd in the critical area, the few hundred with room still to move, those on the flat of the concourse, jostling and straining to get into the tunnel did indeed happen. But it was absolutely nothing compared to the force created by the pressed weight of the 95+% of the crowd, the many thousands, already stuck on a downward slope (which started just after entering the tunnel) with absolutely no-where to go whether they wanted to or not. There was no choice for the vast majority and it was their weight causing the downward pressure that killed those who had entered those pens (and tunnel) before them.

    I re-iterate that three things created the situation whereby 96 people died that. The first was the long-term design of turnstiles, tunnel entrance into the back of the terrace, signage, slope of the tunnel etc etc etc. There had been numerous crushes before; a deathtrap waiting to happen is an apt description. The second was the complete lack of lateral exit from the pens installed in the early 80s. Hence why 1989 ended differently to the 1979 and 1981 crushes when people were hurt but the worst of the pressure was able to move sideways; we had a deathtrap made worse. The third was the control of the crowd (the catastrophic twin mistakes not to monitor the build up of people in the pens 3&4 nor to close the tunnel off when those pens were full) by those who had both the power and obligation to avoid the build up of pressure happening. Hence the difference to the crushes in 1987 and 1988; a deathtrap not averted.

    I stick by my long held conclusion, a conclusion also derived by the Inquest, that the unruly/pushing behaviour of many fans that day occurred but that it did not actually contribute to the deaths, the deaths would have happened anyway. Hence the fans were not culpable, even in part, in the deaths of the 96 folk who died. That is the key point I feel so strongly has to keep being addressed unless new evidence is brought forward to contradict it.
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  10. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Very well written post and persuasive. However, the inquest did not actually rule on the bit that you are discussing with me. The inquest,was only asked to rule on the culpability of fans causing problems at the turnstiles. They were asked to rule on 14 questions and only one question, number 7, was about the culpability of the fans.

    Question 7: Was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles?


    Further to that question: Was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles?


    The remaining questions were all about the police or Sheffield Wednesday's culpability. They were not asked to rule on how the fans acted inside Gate C.

    Elsewhere, in other enquiries, there was discussion about how terrace pens should be filled. The usual method police and stewards used in those days, and certainly the only one I experienced in policing many football matches in the 80's, was that crowds "found their own level" as that normally worked well enough. Usually, when fans tried to enter through a tunnel, or gate into an already full space, fans looked for other entrances. They would also look for the gate numbers on their tickets and try to find the correct gate. Many who had tickets for pens 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 went into pens 3 and 4, (although it is fair to say that the pen numbers were not brilliantly marked). There were also some without tickets at all, getting into 3 and 4 and there were also fans with tickets for the stands that had preferred to try and get into the terraces, as they preferred to be with their mates behind the goal.

    On this occasion, "finding their own level" obviously didn't work, and police have been rightly criticised for not doing something different.

    But the fact remains, at around 3pm over 2,000 fans tried to get in to pens that were already full as the game starts to the extent that many "were carried along with their feet off the ground" as they were going down the tunnel. It is believed that there was twice the safe capacity in each of 3 and 4, whilst the pens on either side were relatively empty. It isn't rocket science to accept that some people were pushing to get in - it is mere common sense.

    All I was saying in my original post is that fans should act in a less reckless fashion, as they enter large events like this as the consequences can be catastrophic. I thought I worded it pretty well (after changing it several times) and it was generally accepted with little argument, with a few likes, etc. Of course, I knew J.B would disagree as if I had said the "grass is green", he would have argued with me, he always does.

    Tell me, do you have a local or other connection to the event?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  11. ST1968

    ST1968 Academy Graduate

    Not as such, no. But I have always been a staunch defender of perceived injustice, that is true.

    I originally went to university in the 80s to study Civil Engineering just so that I could build football grounds. Its all I ever wanted to do as a kid.

    Football grounds and the human aspect of the crowds are still a massive passion but I ended up becoming a Finance Director as my prime occupation.

    I spent most of my teenage years at football grounds (not only when games were on) having a good gander around, thinking about how they are when full, how I would improve them and so forth. I still do it today if I get the chance to be honest, especially abroad. As you know hardly any of the big grounds had seen much improvement for 20-30 years at that point but even so on my visits to Hillsborough a number of times before 1989 it struck me that the design of the Leppings Lane turnstiles funnelling into the dark tunnel was an eerie and frankly gloomy place. Those two huge blue doors had particularly stuck in my mind.

    I also had experience first hand of 1980s police tactics that, at times, reduced crowd safety rather than improved it. One particular time was Wimbledon away in 1988 when I was attacked by a police dog and handler resulting in escalating disorder. Another were the actions at Highbury in the 87 quarter final. (Stories for another day)

    Thus I remember so vividly being stood at Swindon that day (rather drunk and slightly boisterous myself) when the news came over at half time that the game had been abandoned and people had died. Listening to the radio on the way home they announced 50+ people had died and I remember discussing with my mates (probably a bit lecturing given the drink) how on earth could it of happened, why the heck did the police/stewards simply not shut the two huge blue gates that I had remembered. Then, over the next weeks and months I became angrier and angrier that the obvious (in my mind) cause of the disaster was being swept aside and fan behaviour was being blamed as the root cause.

    PS - you are quite right on the specific Inquest questions. I have always thought the questions were too few and too narrow and the explicit question of pushing in and around the tunnel entrance should have been ruled on in isolation as it was more salient an issue than the problems outside. But it was not (note to myself to be precise).
  12. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    I thought that you must have had more than a passing interest.

    The policing at football games in the 80's was always a case of living on the edge. My job on occasions was to leave the ground a couple of minutes before the end and form part of a cordon that re-routed one set of fans all around the houses, just to get to the tube station 50 yards away, for example, in an effort to keep the opposition fans apart. If they didn't do that, and a big fight occurred with injuries or deaths, then police would have been slaughtered for not trying to keep them apart.

    I hated that type of job because it annoyed so many people who just want to get on the tube train, whilst frustrating those that wanted a fight. But obviously, we couldn't be selective and let some through like a bouncer at a nightclub door, we had to treat everyone the same. Invariably arguments started with decent sober people, decent drunken people and with stroppy drunken people and others who just wanted a fight, drunk or sober. Sometimes, it would even end up in scuffles and arrests.

    I have also had to make decisions similar to those at Hillsborough, whether to re-route people, shut roads down, etc, or not - and sometimes against the standing orders I was under. Fortunately I doubt if anything as serious as Hillsborough would have happened either way, but important decisions all the same.

    Policing is a bit like being a social worker. we could make hundreds of decisions which go well, and they are forgotten. Make one or two bad ones, and they are the target for hatred from all sides.

    So my experiences probably make me more sensitive to masses of people pouring into a big event and I am probably more understanding of the police position. It means, for example, that I never go to the pub before a game as I want to keep my wits about me, and make the best decisions for myself and my family, whilst surrounded by others that perhaps do not take the same care.

    I still enjoy games, as I don't need a drink to get overly excited at times. The only time I was actually "removed" from a football ground was when I managed to be on duty on the track at the Watford end in that game where we beat them 1-5 at White Hart Lane. I was getting so excited my Chief Super spotted me jumping up and down and got a couple of colleagues to tell me to go with them as we were required on duty outside with 15 minutes to go. As soon as I was outside, they put me in the back of a police van, and locked it, to stop me making more of an arse of myself - bar stewards!
  13. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    So, after weeks of evidence and days of deliberations, the jury is deadlocked on the manslaughter charge against David Duckenfield:


    The CPS can't be seen to drop this so is going to seek a re-trial.

    Sheffield Wednesday's club secretary has been convicted of a health and safety offence.
  14. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Suspect there will be a few protests at Anfield in the next week or so what with the 30th anniversary of Hillsborough .
  15. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Isn't it about time that everyone tries to get on with their lives now?
  16. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    I agree.
  17. davisp2

    davisp2 Reservist

    Anyone that attended games in the 80s would know that you would never open the gates at a big game like a semi-final where fans routinely turned up that didn’t have tickets. Duckenfield should have faced the firing squad years ago.
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  18. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    He had senior officers outside screaming at him, asking if they could be opened to ease the crush outside, didn't he? Having been policing football at both Arsenal and Spurs throughout the 80's those judgement decsions were made routinely, usually correctly, but sometimes wrongly. Thankfully without the consequences. It isn't easy always to make the correct decisions under pressure.

    I just think that a professional error like this doea not deserve a criminal conviction of manslaughter. If the jury couldn't find enough evidence to convict the bloke, after three months of hearing and eeing it, I cannot see the point of going through it all again. A conviction brings no-one back to life.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  19. davisp2

    davisp2 Reservist

    If there was crushing outside it was only get to get worse inside. There had been crushing issues at Hilsborough in the Semi Finals in a previous semi-final (Wolves v Tottenham was one game that comes to mind). I went to many games in the 80s where there was crushing issues without gates being opened. It was incompetence beyond belief to do what he did. What would have happened had he not opened that gates? The game may have been delayed for 15 minutes - big deal !
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  20. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    This is the second time he’s been on trial for manslaughter and the second time a jury hasn’t been able to agree on a verdict. I think it would be an injustice to put him through it again.
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  21. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    It really is so easy to type that on a keyboard, isn't it.

    Not so easy when you have a senior officer on the radio, who had to scale a wall to avoid the crush outside himself, screaming that they needed to open the gates, so that fans could get into the sanctuary of a relatively large empty space beyond, before the tunnel entrances into the ground (from memory).

    Still, I'm not going to get invloved any further, I've said my piece.
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