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The court heard in his original statement he said on the day of the disaster he had gone to the police control box at 12pm and spoken to Superintendent Bernard Murray, to ask if he had a preference about how spectators were allowed to fill the terraces.

He said: “I was informed that the filling of the fenced pens would be allowed to take place in a natural fashion and that no control would be exercised by police on the supporters with regard to which particular pen would be filled.”

But Jonathan Hough, counsel to the inquests, said that passage had been removed from the statement.

He said it was not clear who crossed out the passage on the original copy but it was in line with advice given by the force solicitors.

A fan described the “fight for survival” in the pens at Hillsborough

Liverpool supporter Andrew Ashcroft told the inquests he had been at the match with a friend and was in the central pens.

He described stepping onto a body as he was moved forward in the pen, but said when he tried to pull the person up the crowd began to fill on top of him and he had to let go.

He said: “It was a sort of fight for survival and you’re just trying your utmost to hang on in there really.”

Police officers were seen pushing fans back into the pens as they tried to escape the crush

Mr Ashcroft said people in the central pens at Hillsborough were screaming and shouting at police: “There’s people dead in here, you’ve got to let us out.”

But he saw police physically pushing fans back in.

He says: “You could see they were pushing back or when I got nearer to the fence we could actually hear them saying ‘No, push back, push back’, and this is despite them being told that there’s people dead in here and dying.”

A supporter described no police presence in the tunnel leading to the central pens

Roger Hewstone, a Liverpool supporter, said he entered the tunnel after kick off and was unable to get onto the terraces because of the crowd.

He describes some fans forcing their way through the crowd.

When asked if there was any police control in the tunnel, he said: “There was no police presence, period.”

A resident who watched fans walk past his house said he saw no bad behaviour or drunkenness

James Alan McGauley, who lived in Wadsley Lane, near the ground, said he and his 18 month old son stood at the front window of their home and watched Liverpool fans walking to the stadium from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.

He said the supporters were “good mannered” and waved at his son.

He said: “In the past there had been people drinking alcohol and we found the odd can at the side. I didn’t see any of that on that day. There was no evidence that the crowd had been drinking alcohol when I was looking out of the window.”

A police chief inspector was told to let the pens fill “in a natural fashion”, but that was taken out of his statement

The evidence of Chief Inspector Robert Creaser was read to the court.

In his original statement he said on the day of the disaster he had gone to the police control box at 12pm and spoken to Superintendent Bernard Murray, to ask if he had a preference about how spectators were allowed to fill the terraces.

He said: “I was informed that the filling of the fenced pens would be allowed to take place in a natural fashion and that no control would be exercised by police on the supporters with regard to which particular pen would be filled.”

But Jonathan Hough, counsel to the inquests, said that passage had later been removed from the statement.
office doc martens Verdict to be announced 11am 26th April Archive