Hillsborough Inquest: South Yorkshire Police Inspector admits ‘The Truth’ headlines were false

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Former South Yorkshire police inspector Gordon Sykes has admitted in court that police told a “bald-faced lie” and that The Sun newspaper’s ‘The Truth’ headlines were false.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 23, 2012: Liverpool supporters form a mosaic on the Anfield Road and Centenary Stands calling for Justice for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster before the Premiership match against Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Liverpool supporters form a mosaic calling for Justice for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster before the match against Man United in 2012. Pic: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Speaking at the Hillsborough inquest in Warrington on Friday, Sykes was asked by Michael Mansfield QC whether police told a “bald-faced lie” that dead bodies had been stripped – to which he agreed.

Speaking of The Sun‘s headline, Sykes accepted that stories police told for newspaper were false.

Sykes also agreed that the Disaster was “entirely foreseeable” & could have happened at 1981 and 1987 FA Cup semi-finals, as per The Guardian‘s David Conn.

Sykes agreed that Sheffield Wednesday, the FA and South Yorkshire Police were “playing Russian roulette” with fans lives.

Later in the day, Michael George, the bereaved families’ QC, quizzed Sykes on the parallels between 1989 and a previous crush involving Tottenham fans eight years earlier in 1981, admitting that it looked “horribly similar”.

Speaking of The Football Association’s role in the disaster, Sykes was asked if the FA were partly to blame for disaster for selecting Hillsborough for FA Cup semi-finals?

He said: “The FA would have been aware of all the previous incidents… so yes I agree.”

A full commentary of events at the inquest on Friday is available via the Twitter timeline of David Conn and via The Liverpool Echo’s liveblog.

On Thursday, Sykes said that approach to turnstiles was a death trap and match commander seemed weak, as per The Guardian.

The inquest continues.