Material from the Hillsborough inquests suggests that South Yorkshire Police was trying to “spread the blame” during the long-running hearings into the deaths of 96 football fans, according to a review by a leading QC.
Independent barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC criticised the embattled force but agreed with a decision by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) not to investigate its former chief constable, David Crompton, over how he instructed his lawyers acting in the inquest hearings.
Hillsborough: police media officer loses ‘coercion to spin’ case
Hayley Court said she was told by South Yorkshire police to spin positive coverage at inquests, but IPCC finds no case to answer
A press officer for South Yorkshire police who said she was pressured to spin positive coverage for the force at the Hillsborough inquests has lost her complaint with the police watchdog.
Hayley Court told the Guardian earlier this year that she was instructed to emphasise evidence considered favourable to the force to journalists attending the hearings into the deaths of 96 people, including allegations of misbehaviour by Liverpool supporters.
She said she first raised concerns internally in September 2014, 19 months before the Hillsborough inquests finished.