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Trevor Hicks, whose two teenage daughters, Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, were killed in the lethal crush in Sheffield Wednesday Hillsborough football ground at the FA Cup semi final in 1989, has given harrowing evidence of their deaths at the new inquest into the disaster, and of treatment by South Yorkshire police on the day, which he said was
Hicks said that when it became obvious there was serious crushing in the central of the Leppings Lane terrace before Liverpool and Nottingham Forest kicked off at 3pm, he and other concerned Liverpool supporters called up to a police officer to help the people trapped in them. The policeman, Hicks told the inquest, ignored them for a while, then finally replied: your prattle.
Hicks said that at 10pm on the night of the disaster, 15 April 1989, when 96 Liverpool supporters died, he had to identify both his daughters in body bags at the football ground gymnasium. Then he was immediately taken to make a statement by South Yorkshire police. CID officers, he said, repeatedly asked him whether he and his daughters had been drinking alcohol, which he found
Several members of other bereaved families whose relatives died in the Hillsborough disaster wept quietly in the converted courtroom in Warrington, as Hicks described his experiences.
The managing director of an engineering company, Hicks said he and his then wife, Jenni, and the girls, who lived in north London, were all Liverpool fans. They had season tickets and watching Liverpool was something they did together as a family. They travelled up to Sheffield on the morning of the match and had a picnic lunch in the car park before going into the Hillsborough ground Jenni had a seat in the north stand, while he and his daughters were standing, and went through the Leppings Lane turnstiles.
Hicks said the girls always liked to stand behind the goal, and they met up with other young Liverpool fans who nicknamed them London girls He left them to it, and took up a position on the side of the terrace, in 2, where there was lots of room.
From that position, Hicks said, just below the police own control box, he could see crushing develop in the central where his daughters were standing, with people clearly in distress, including an elderly man in a grey suit who appeared, Hicks said, to be standing up
He said that one policeman, who was wearing an officer flat police cap, and whom he believes to have been Supt Roger Greenwood, the policeman in charge inside the ground that day, ignored his and other supporters calls for him to help. Then they called on the second officer to help, to his job Hicks put it, and met with the response: your prattle.
As people then began to climb over fences at the side and front, to escape from the central some then collapsing on the pitch, the police misread the situation Hicks told the inquest. He said police clearly believed fans were engaged in a hostile pitch invasion, which they intended to prevent.
He then saw Sarah, wearing a T shirt and Dr Marten shoes, being passed over the fence, and he went on to the pitch. There he found both his daughters laid out together, being given mouth to mouth resuscitation. He began to give Victoria, whom they called Vicki, mouth to mouth resuscitation based on first aid training he recalled from years previously as an ICI apprentice, which involved sucking vomit from her mouth.
Hicks described the scenes on the pitch as with no organisation by police, or medical equipment for the dead and injured. He said many police officers were standing around nothing
When one ambulance arrived, he went in it with Victoria, after being promised Sarah would be put on the next ambulance. Leaving his daughter on the Hillsborough pitch was, he said, of the worst moments After 15 minutes at Sheffield Northern General hospital, he was told that Victoria was dead. Hicks said he then tried to find Sarah, which led to a long and fruitless search before he and Jenni were driven, on police instructions, back to the Hillsborough gymnasium.
He and Jenni were told that the coroner for the first inquest in 1990 91 had ordered that all dead bodies be taken to the gymnasium, so Victoria body had been driven from the hospital back to the football ground.
stick her in a van and take her back to the ground was not really the way to treat the deceased, Hicks told the inquest.
In the gymnasium, the couple were taken into a room where a police officer was posting up on a board Polaroid pictures of the dead people.
Jenni, he told the inquest, was astonished at the sight of the photographs, and said: many?
The police officer replied: they not all there, love. At that point, Hicks said: hit me like a brick.
When they asked to see Victoria body, Hicks said they were told: she nothing to do with you. She is the property of the coroner.
Finally, they identified Sarah picture on the board of photographs, and both girls were brought out to their parents, in body bags. He said Jenni wanted to hug them, which she did.
Hicks said he was then taken immediately by CID officers of South Yorkshire police force to an to make a statement. He reflected afterwards that he should never have made a statement in that emotional condition, after seven traumatic hours, Hicks told the inquest. CID officers repeatedly asked him, half a dozen times, if he and the girls had been drinking alcohol, which he found he said.
He told the inquest: way we were treated and this is well documented at the gymnasium, was appalling.
Hicks referred to his years campaigning for his own and other families, as a founder member and chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, of which he is now honorary president. He said he believed the official report by Lord Justice Taylor, in August 1989, with most things but the first inquest, in Sheffield, to rewrite Taylor conclusions.
Michael Mansfield QC, representing 75 bereaved families, including those in the HFSG, asked Hicks about the evidence that some South Yorkshire policemen had given at this inquest, which was ordered after the first inquest was quashed in 2012. Some South Yorkshire police officers have claimed Liverpool supporters were drunk outside and would not listen to instructions.
Hicks said: must have been at a different game to them.
have sat in court many days and have been absolutely in fact I will probably get told off [for saying so] but it really does brass me off to have to listen to it, he said.
The coroner, Lord Justice Goldring, said he was not going to tell Hicks off, but encouraged him not to continue criticising the police testimony in his own evidence.
The barristers representing South Yorkshire police, the senior officers in command on the day (Ch Supt David Duckenfield, Supt Roger Marshall and Greenwood), the Police Federation and other then senior officers, asked Hicks no questions.
The court heard read evidence from David Hughes, a Liverpool fan who suffered severe bruising in the crush. Mr Hughes has since died.
In a May 1989 statement he described being stood in front of a barrier behind the Liverpool goal, with two girls nearby.