Families have called for action after it was claimed at the latest Hillsborough preliminary inquest hearing that police video evidence on the day of the disaster may have been edited.
The third preliminary hearing by the coroner, held at London’s Thistle Hotel ahead of the full inquests into the tragedy, was told that an internationally-recognised expert was concerned that handheld camera footage taken by officers on the day may have been altered.
Relatives of victims called for the issue to be examined as part of the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s investigation into the alleged cover-up.
The details emerged in evidence given by Pete Weatherby QC, speaking on behalf of 21 of the families.
He called for checks on the quality of the recordings, as a family member’s own copy of some footage had been significantly better than the version provided initially to the inquests.
Mr Weatherby said that the difference in quality had meant a victim had initially been misidentified in the process of tracking their movements through the crowd on the day of the disaster.
Amy McGlone, whose father Alan died at Hillsborough, said: “It is the kind of thing we are seeing more and more evidence over. They should be looking in to this along with the altered statements.”
Throughout the proceedings the coroner, Lord Justice Goldring, stressed the importance of the inquests, to be held in Warrington, meeting the scheduled start date of 31st of March.
No definite venue has yet been confirmed for the full inquests and a further preliminary hearing is scheduled for December.
Lead counsel to the inquests, Christina Lambert QC , said that the inquests would look at how many victims could have survived given a different emergency response, a question raised by the Hillsborough Independent Panel which reported in September 2012.
An expert’s report on pre-hospital emergency care will be considered during the March inquests alongside the different forms of asphyxiation that may have been suffered by victims and the impact that might have had on survival rates.
This decision represents a significant difference from the original inquests, now quashed, which ruled that no victims who sustained injuries before 3.15pm that day could have survived.
Michael Mansfield, representing the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said he expected the proceedings to take around six months or even up to nine.