Wednesday 02 October 2013 Updated: 04/10 00:19
A NATIONWIDE appeal has been launched for witnesses to the Hillsborough disaster, where a Bromsrove man was among 96 to lose their lives, to contact the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
It comes after the IPCC, which is investigating West Midlands Police conduct for its part in the disaster, discovered evidence suggesting fans’ statements had been altered. It is estimated around 12,000 people gave accounts at the time and it is those people the IPCC are particularly keen to speak to again.
Louise Brookes, sister of Andrew Brookes from Bromsgrove, has especially appealed to Nottingham Forest fans who were there, as she believes they hold crucial information as to how her brother was treated on the day.
“They witnessed so much and I’ve got many pictures in my folder of Andy being stretchered across the pitch and you can see the Notts Forest fans’ faces very clearly watching my brother.”
Louise also said it was no surprise to hear fans’ statements had potentially been altered.
“I have had my suspicions for a long time.
“The IPCC appeal has definitely confirmed my other suspicion that my brother’s friends’ witness statements were altered too.”
Last Thursday (September 12) marked one year since the Hillsborough Independent Panel released its report which led to the original inquests being quashed.
So far the enquiry has found more than 200 police statements had been altered in an attempt to blame the fans for the tragedy.
Jon Stoddard has been appointed to lead the manslaughter investigation which he has described as the biggest in English police history.
He recently confirmed the investigation would include questioning people from Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, the FA, the licensing authorities as well as stadium engineers.
Miss Brookes has also called for Tottenham Hotspur fans present at the 1981 semi-final in the same ground to contact the IPCC after 38 people were injured in another incident sur-rounding stadium safety.
She said their evidence could be important to the current investigation.
“I want everybody culpable to be held accountable for their part in that disaster,” she added.
“I don’t care if it’s 50 people or 500, if they have played a part in my brother’s and the other 95 deaths they should be brought to justice.”
Anyone needing to provide information relevant to the Hillsborough investigation can visit www.ipcc.gov.uk and fill in a witness appeal form.
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