News

Hillsborough lawyer accused of changing statements admits he may have made ‘errors’

A solicitor accused of changing police statements following the Hillsborough disaster admitted he may have made “errors” but said he complied with his duty, a court has heard.

Peter Metcalf, 71, who acted as solicitor for South Yorkshire Police following the tragedy at the FA Cup semi-final in April 1989, is charged along with former Chief Supt Donald Denton, 83, and retired Det Chief Insp Alan Foster, 74, with perverting the course of justice, which they deny.

Their trial at the Lowry Theatre in Salford has heard that they were involved in a process of amending statements made by officers ahead of a public inquiry into safety at sports grounds led by Lord Justice Taylor.

A series of documents were shown to the jury by Timothy Kendal, representing Metcalf, today.

A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield
A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield

The court heard that, in a previous statement, Metcalf, who was instructed by Municipal Mutual Insurance to represent South Yorkshire Police, said: “I reviewed a large quantity of documents and reports in a short period of time and was necessarily subjective as I was exercising judgment as to what was factual and what was merely comment.

“I accept that, during that process, I may have made errors in small numbers of cases; however, such errors were neither deliberate nor intentional, nor motivated by a desire to mislead or misinform, nor consciously influenced by the views or wishes of others.”

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died following the crush in the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough stadium on April 15 1989.

In this file photo taken in 1989 thousands of flowers, wreaths and tributes are displayed on the Anfield stadium pitch in memory of the 96 soccer fans who died
In this file photo taken in 1989 thousands of flowers, wreaths and tributes are displayed on the Anfield stadium pitch in memory of the 96 soccer fans who died

One member of the jury was discharged at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing after the court heard she had been taken ill.

The trial, which started last Tuesday and is expected to last up to 16 weeks, will continue with a jury of 11 rather than 12.



All Credit

Related Articles

Back to top button