Hillsborough: Hearing told of police video 10-minute gap

Liverpool fans holding Hillsborough scarves The deaths of all 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster will be reviewed

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A Hillsborough pre-inquest hearing has been told a police video of the tragedy has 10 minutes of footage missing.

Pete Weatherby, barrister for some of the families, said one of the police tapes had an "unexplained 10-minute gap in the middle".

New inquests into 96 fans' deaths in March will consider the emergency service response for the first time.

Thirteen former or serving police officers have declined to speak to the police watchdog's Hillsborough inquiry.

Another six have failed to respond to requests.

'Sound operational reasons'

Ninety five Liverpool fans died at Sheffield Wednesday's ground in April 1989 during an FA cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest, and another fan in a persistent vegetative state passed away in 1993 when treatment was withdrawn.

At a previous pre-inquest hearing in October, Mr Weatherby said video filmed by police during the disaster "may have been edited".

The families are seeking disclosure of the names of all 240 officers whose statements were amended.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it had "sound operational reasons" for not publicly releasing the names.

Hillsborough disaster Fresh inquests into the 96 deaths were ordered in December

Rachel Cerfontyne, deputy chair of the IPCC, said its officers had already interviewed 143 of the 240 officers.

The inquiry has received 1,596 responses to its appeal for witnesses who gave accounts to the original West Midlands Police investigation, she added.

There have also been 400 requests from witnesses for copies of the statements they gave to police at the time.

The police watchdog is also examining two complaints by the brother of one victim, Adam Spearitt, about the actions of Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The first related to his potentially having wrongly read out Adam's name on a list of those confirmed alive in the immediate aftermath.

The second allegation is that comments made by Sir Bernard about whether he made a statement about his role at Hillsborough have been misleading.

All the deaths will be looked at by the inquests, not just 41 which were classed as survivable.

Two doctors have been appointed to look at whether an earlier or different emergency response would have meant more lives could have been saved.

It will be the first time evidence on ambulance response times has been heard. London Ambulance Service paramedic David Whitmore will look at the timings.

Coroner Lord Justice Goldring will preside over the jury inquests in Warrington.

Christina Lambert, QC for the inquests, said blood alcohol levels of victims were "not relevant to the causes of the Hillsborough disaster".

Individual pathology reports on all 96 victims are being prepared and should be ready in the new year, the hearing was told.

The Hillsborough investigation being overseen by the IPCC is based in Warrington.

A separate team, led by former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart, is investigating the response of all other agencies involved in the aftermath of the disaster.

The original inquest verdicts of accidental death, from 1991, were quashed by the High Court in December 2012.

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BBC Local Live

    'Poignant' story 12:36: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    Les and Margaret Holmes, of Wallasey, watched the Little Girl and Xolo with their grandchildren Ellis, nine, and Isobella, seven.

    Les and Margaret Holmes with their grandchildren Ellis and Isobella

    Mr Holmes said: "The control the puppeteers have over the giants is incredible. They look sort of old fashioned, and really impressive.

    "The crowds are quite something too. You can hear accents from around the country everywhere."

    Mrs Holmes added: "I got a little bit tearful actually. It's a bit emotional. It brings to mind World War One and everything that happened. My mum was born in 1921 and my dad in 1922, so it's very poignant."

    Cracking view 12:34: Steve Coleman BBC Radio Merseyside
    Waiting for Grandma 12:28:

    Margaret Murphy has emailed in a picture from the corner of North John Street as people waited for Grandmother Giant.

    North John Street

    Please send us your photos or comments on email, Facebook or Twitter.

    Check out the Xolo video 12:24: Steve Coleman BBC Radio Merseyside

    Oh my word Xolo is just magical. Check out this clip of him walking through the crowds.

    Xolo in Liverpool
    Hundreds watch on 12:22: Lucinda Moore BBC Radio Merseyside

    Hundreds watch the Little Girl make her way up Whitechapel.

    Little Girl on Whitechapel
    This dog is so cool! 12:17: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    There are hundreds of people out in the boiling midday heat.

    Xolo the dog

    Xolo the dog's nodding his head and wagging his tail. He's going right up to them.

    She's walking! A few yards behind the dog. This is a cup winner's homecoming. There are people gathered on the steps. They are hanging out of shop windows.

    This dog is so cool! He's loving all the attention. There's a sea of people at the end of the street already to greet the Girl and the dog.

    'Unprecedented' numbers on train 12:12:

    We mentioned before about problems travelling into Liverpool on the train as an estimated million people are expected in the city to see the Giants Spectacular.

    Operations director Andy Heath of Merseyrail said there will be train disruptions over the weekend.

    He said it has been a "real challenge because of unprecedented number of passengers" and warned it may be forced to close station for safety.

    Lime Street steps 12:08: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Hundreds of people have gathered on the steps of Lime Street Station in the centre of Liverpool to watch the Grandma who's been speaking in front of St Georges Hall.

    Crowds on the steps of Lime Street Station
    'Just magical' 12:06: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    Jenny Moran, from the Wirral, is watched the Little Girl and Xolo with her two-year-old son, Robert, and parents Ruth and Dave Wilcoxon.

    Jenny Moran with her two-year-old son, Robert, and parents Ruth and Dave Wilcoxon

    Jenny said: "It's amazing, what can I say. Not only the giants themselves, but the way the crowd have reacted to them is just magical."

    Ruth said: "It's been the perfect weather for it. It's beautiful and it's giving me goosebumps."

    Giving the kids a ride 12:03:

    Margaret Murphy has emailed us this picture of the Little Girl Giant taking time out to give kids a ride at the corner of Whitechapel and Sir Thomas Street.

    Little Girl Giant giving kids a ride on her arms
    news on the hour 11:59: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 12:00 include:

    Isn't she beautiful? 11:57:

    Ellie Bridges sent this picture. Look at Grandmother Giant. Isn't she beautiful?

    Giant Grandmother
    Speedy Xolo 11:49: BBC Radio Merseyside

    Another picture of Xolo in the heart of Liverpool.


    Magical and really speedy too!

    Girl going past 11:47: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    Just seen the Little Girl Giant go past the window of our office. She was sat on the roof of an old Vauxhall Astra - how it's still in one piece, I have no idea!

    It's amazing, you don't realise the size of the giants until you actually see them up close.

    Filming Grandma 11:43:

    BBC camera operator David Edwards tweets: @Brijeshp filming Granny for @BBCNWT #giants #giantsarecoming

    Filming the giants
    Xolo flies past 11:40: Paul Salt BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: Xolo the dog going past @bbcmerseyside fantastic! # giants

    Grandma's about to speak 11:36: Jessica Robbins BBC Radio Merseyside

    Grandma Giant is just about to speak to the crowds assembled outside St Georges Hall.

    It's the first time we've heard a giant speak in Liverpool. She's speaking in French while someone translates for her.

    Xolo whizzes past 11:32: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Here's Xolo whizzing past BBC Radio Merseyside's office. He certainly moves at quite a pace!

    Delighted crowds 11:30:

    Margaret Murphy emails to say the crowds at Queen Square were delighted by the Little Girl as she ambled down the street, acknowledging their attention.

    Little Girl Giant walking through Queen Square
    Here's Granny 11:28:

    Giants Spectacular tweets: Grandma @SGHLpool with @CultureLPool #followthegiants

    The Grandmother Giant
    Quite a sight 11:25: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    The Little Girl Giant is quite a sight as she walks through the crowds.

    Little Girl Giant

    Xolo has toddled off ahead.

    Huge crowds for Grandma 11:22: Tom Airey BBC News

    Huge crowds stretching from Lime Street down to St George's Hall as we wait for the Grandmother Giant to wake up.

    Crowds at St George's Hall
    Spying a giant 11:17: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    I'm just waiting for the Giants to come past our office.

    I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of them as they go past the window - it's all very exciting!

    Here come the band 11:14: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: The band & Jean Luc (head of giants) have arrived @BBCNWT

    Jean-Luc Courcoult
    Your country needs you 11:10: Tom Airey BBC News

    Liverpool's big screen outside Lime St displays a single message.

    Lime Street sign
    News on the hour 11:07: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 11:00 include:

    It's a live show 11:06:

    Liverpool Council tweets: Please remember @GiantSpectacle is a live show so all times and routes are approximate and can still be subject to change

    Train disruption 11:04: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    The trains are totally packed out as people flock to Liverpool for the Giants Spectacular.

    A few passengers are a little disgruntled with many including myself crammed in the aisles but at least we're on a train. People are stranded at the platform at Warrington and Widnes station as the trains are too full to take anyone.

    Not everyone is heading into the city for the Giants - I overheard one person ask "Where is everyone going. What is happening?"

    For travel advice see MerseyTravel.

    Watch the giants wake up 11:00: BBC Radio Merseyside

    She's awake and it's pure magic.

    Little Girl and Xolo waking up

    Check out this video of the moment the Little Girl and Xolo stirred from their slumber on our Facebook page.

    Grandma and friends 10:57: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight
    There she goes 10:55: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    The Little Girl has set off on her journey around Liverpool.

    Little Girl Giant sets off

    Xolo the dog is leading the way as they head off towards the centre of town.

    Enter the Lilliputians 10:51: Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: The puppeteers arrive #giants

    Climbing the walls 10:48: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    A few clever spectators are scaling walls and pillars to catch a glimpse of the Little Girl and Xolo.

    Spectators climbing the walls

    Applause has now broken out as the volunteers begin to propel the Little Girl and Xolo on their march.

    Waking up to a lick 10:44: Jayne McCubbin BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: A good moooooorning lick from xolo! Want one @BBCNWT#giants

    The Little Girl Giant and Xolo
    Disruption on the trains 10:41:

    BBC Travel News says there is disruption on Merseyrail between Southport and Hunts Cross due to unusually large passenger flow.

    Eyes open 10:37: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    The little girl's eyes are open!

    Little girl waking up

    Her dog, Xolo, is also waking up. The show is under way here at the Queensway Tunnel.

    Good Morning Little Girl 10:34:

    Liverpool City Council tweets: Good morning Little Girl Giant, hope you & Xolo slept well ready for your journey, we've met your grandma & can't wait to see you up & about

    Eyelashes to die for 10:30: BBC Radio Merseyside

    Those eyelashes are to die for!

    Little Girl Giant

    We're counting down to the start of the Giant Spectacular in Liverpool.

    'Wake up Xolo' 10:26: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    As excitement builds for the Giants weekend, Xolo the dog is snoring and kids standing around are shouting "wake up, wake up!"

    Xolo and Little Girl Giant

    The Little Girl Giant takes him for a walk soon.

    You can listen live to BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Giant walking stick 10:21: Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    There's a giant walking stick lying in front of St George's Hall this morning.

    Grandma's walking stick

    I reckon it's the right size for a 25ft granny.

    Where's Grandma? 10:16:

    This is where the Grandma's going to be throughout the day.

    Grandma graphic

    As before, please be aware that these times are subject to change as it is a live show and there may be delays.

    Huge crowds 10:11: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    I've just arrived at the Queensway Tunnel as the Little Girl and Xolo the dog prepare to start their march.

    Crowds at Queensway Tunnel gathering to see Little Girl Giant

    The crowds here are huge and everyone's jostling to find the best vantage points to view the action - including me!

    Finding the Little Girl and Xolo 10:06:

    Are you planning to come and see the Giants in Liverpool? Here is where the Little Girl Giant and her dog Xolo will be today.

    Little Girl graphic

    Please be aware times are subject to change as it's a live show and there may be delays.

    Details of the Grandmother will follow shortly.

    News on the hour 10:00: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 10:00 include:

    Waiting for Grandma 09:55: BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: The crowds are starting to build at St George's Hall waiting for the #giants Grandma to wake up!

    Crowds at St George's Hall
    Whipping up the crowds 09:50: Jayne McCubbin BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: Let's go! Jimmy from @bbcmerseyside on air he's been whipping up the crowds! #giants EXCITED! @BBCNWT

    Jimmy McCracken
    Giant themes 09:44: Sean Styles BBC Radio Merseyside

    We are looking for songs to play on the show today that are related to our giant visitors.

    Let's try and be imaginative; perhaps a song for them waking up or exploring the city?

    Send your suggestions in via email,Twitter or Facebook and don't forget you can also text 81333 with Mersey before your message.

    Look out for water and shade 09:39:

    Merseyside Police's Ch Supt John Ward says measures have been taken to help the crowds who'll be watching the Giants in the hot weather.

    Ch Supt John Ward

    "We've been working with the NHS and St John Ambulance will be out helping us as well to make sure there is plenty of water and plenty of support for people.

    "Shade is going to be an issue, people are going to be standing around for a long time, so please bear that in mind."

    Fun in the sun 09:31: Nazia Mogra North West Tonight

    tweets: Off to see the #giants later producing @MerseyHack should be fun in the sun!! #liverpool

    Brothers who became Pals 09:25:

    Two brothers, who became Liverpool Pals during World War One, will have their stories told as part of Giants visit to Liverpool.

    Edgar and Fred Kinder

    Edgar and Fred Kinder answered Lord Derby's call to arms and joined the volunteer battalions in the autumn of 1914.

    Sue Johnston met Fred's son John for North West Tonight.

    Changes to buses 09:19:

    There will be significant changes to buses because of the Giants' visit to Liverpool.

    You can see a full list of changes here.

    Thousands queued 09:13: BBC Radio Merseyside

    It's not long until the Giants wake up and take to the streets of Liverpool.

    Queuing to see Grandmother outside St Georges Hall

    Over the past two days, the Grandma has been sleeping at St George's Hall in the centre of the city. Thousands of people queued to see her as you can see above.

    You can get a taste of what it's been like on this video on our Facebook page.

    Love of Liverpool 09:06: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Why has Giants genius Jean-Luc Courcoult fallen in love with Liverpool?

    Jean-Luc Courcoult

    You can read my article on why the eccentric director of the Royal De Luxe favours this city above all others on the BBC News.

    News on the hour 09:00: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 09:00 include:

    • Liverpool is gearing up for a spectacular show this weekend as the Giants walk the streets of the city once again
    • The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Israel and Hamas to end hostilities and start talking
    • Royal Bank of Scotland, which had to be bailed out by the taxpayer, has announced a huge leap in pre-tax profits
    Top headlines
    Wall of lights 08:54: BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: This appears to be a huge wall of car headlights down with the girl #giant at the Birkenhead tunnel. Mysterious!

    Wall of headlights
    Queensway Tunnel closed 08:47:

    The Queensway Tunnel is closed today because of the Giants' visit to Liverpool. It is just one of a number of road closures made to accommodate the event.

    You can find details of all the road closures here.

    Snoring away 08:40: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    The Little Girl may be sleeping soundly but the Grandma is snoring away in her wheelchair outside St Georges Hall.

    Grandma sleeping in front of St Georges Hall

    I have to confess, I absolutely love her slippers!

    Front Row's giant celebration 08:33: BBC Radio 4

    BBC Radio 4's Front Row has been celebrating the return of giant puppets to Liverpool.

    Kirsty Lang found out about the three visitors and how Liverpool City Council has coped with turning the city centre into a giant's performance space, which included cutting down trees to let them through.

    You can listen to the show on the BBC iPlayer.

    Sleeping soundly 08:26: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    I can hear the Little Girl Giant breathing as she sleeps at the Liverpool entrance to the Birkenhead Tunnel.

    Little Girl Giant asleep outside the Birkenhead Tunnel

    She'll be waking up in a few hours and will be starting her journey through the city.

    Extra carriages 08:18: Jenny Summers BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyrail are putting on extra carriages in anticipation of the huge numbers of people flocking to Liverpool to see the Giants.

    Wirral line passengers are being asked to use Liverpool Central station while Northern line customers are being asked to use Moorfields.

    Visit the Merseyrail website for full details.

    Live from St George's Hall 08:12: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    We're live in front of St George's Hall until 09:30 this morning.

    Snelly and Claire McColgan, Director of Culture at Liverpool City Council

    I've been talking to Claire McColgan, Director of Culture at Liverpool City Council.

    She says it's important to remember that the event is also commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One.

    Fine, dry and warm 08:06: Sara Blizzard Weather Presenter, BBC North West Today

    Another fine, dry and warm day is expected with just a little cloud developing in places, mainly during the afternoon.

    Weather graphic for 13:00 on 25.07.2014

    Winds remaining light throughout the day with temperatures reaching a maximum of 27C (81F).

    News on the hour 08:00: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 08:00 include:

    A giant good morning 08:00: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    They're here - the giants have arrived in Liverpool and we will be bringing you all the latest on their visit here on Giants Live over the next three days.

    If you have any pictures or comments you'd like to send us, email them to merseyside.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet us at @bbcmerseyside.



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