Bromsgrove woman welcomes start of Hillsborough inquests

By Carl Jackson Thursday 03 April 2014 Updated: 04/04 23:15

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Buy photos » Louise and Andrew Brookes enjoying Christmas together before the tragedy. (s)

BROMSGROVE woman Louise Brookes has welcomed the start of the fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans, including her brother, who died at the Hillsborough stadium disaster.

The hearings which started at the beginning of the week, have seen the jury sworn in and Coroner Lord Justice Goldring provide background informtation to the 1989 tragedy.

The new inquests come after the original verdicts of 'accidental death' were quashed and a police cover-up to conceal force failings on the day was exposed.

Ms Brookes, from Sidemoor, is there on behalf of her brother Andrew Brookes who was 26 when he lost his life in the disaster.

She told the Standard: “Parts have been quite difficult and hard going.

“I didn't expect him (the coroner) to read out the names of the 96 victims. It has been difficult to hear.

“But it is going as well as can be expected, he is getting on with it and it is here now.”

Yesterday families began providing statements called 'pen portraits' providing the jury with background information on the personality and characteristics on each of the victims.

Ms Brookes, who is set give her brother's statement on Wednesday (April 9), said she expected the hearings to be 'very emotional'.

Aged 18 she did not attend Andrew's original inquest in 1990, and said the fresh hearings were a 'second chance' for her, and now she was representing her parents who have both sadly passed away since.

The inquests are scheduled to take place in the next 12 months, but the order of them is to be confirmed.

The hearings continue.

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