Hillsborough officer’s statement ‘changed’

Lord Justice Goldring. Press Association.
Lord Justice Goldring. Press Association.

A former South Yorkshire Police officer said it was obvious there was not enough room to accommodate Liverpool fans in the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough Stadium on the day of the disaster - but his comment was removed from his initial statement, a court heard.

The evidence of PC Harold Guest, who was on duty in the Sheffield Wednesday control room on the day of the match, was read to the fresh inquests into the tragedy because he is no longer alive.

Jonathan Hough, counsel to the inquests, said some of Mr Guest’s evidence would be controversial and the jury should appreciate there would not be an opportunity to challenge it.

In his original statement Mr Guest said: “It was obvious that looking at the crowd from the outside trying to get in, that there would not be sufficient room for all to be accommodated.”

The line was later removed and a reference to the number of fans in the Leppings Lane end being ‘in excess’ of 7,000 was also changed to ‘approximately’ 7,000.

Earlier in the week the jury was shown CCTV footage of football fans forcing open a perimeter gate at the ground at around 2.54pm, prior to the kick-off.

The inquests continue.