Hillsborough inquests: Disaster 'ripped pages from life'

Clockwise from top left: David Birtle, Nicholas Hewitt, Alan McGlone, Andrew Brookes, Paul Brady, Joseph Clark, Stuart Thompson, Andrew Sefton, Carl Hewitt The court heard from the relatives of nine of the victims of the disaster

The Hillsborough disaster "ripped out the pages" of a 23-year-old man's life, his sister has told his inquest.

Andrew Sefton was one of 96 fans who died after a crush at the ground during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest in 1989.

Julie Fallon said her family "no longer have an inkling what life without Hillsborough looks like".

Statements from the relatives of all 96 victims are being heard at their inquests in Warrington.

Ms Fallon said the Skelmersdale security officer's life had been "like a book".

"There's a title, an introduction, a description of the characters - then someone ripped out the rest of the pages.

"Hillsborough made an incompleteness which continues to be, for my family, the central, longest and most overriding topic of the last 25 years and of our lives.

"We no longer have an inkling what life without Hillsborough looks like and ironically neither does my brother."

Police 'turned their backs'

Louise Brookes, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, told the court about her brother Andrew, who was "the apple of my mum's eye" and who had never been in trouble with the police.

"My mum said 'the only time Andrew ever brought the police was when they brought his clothes home in a plastic bag [after his death].

Start Quote

As a family we are owed an explanation sooner rather than later of how and why David died that day”

End Quote Jennifer Birtle Mother of Hillsborough victim David Birtle

"Andrew was brought up to respect the police. When he needed them most, they literally turned their backs on him."

She said after his death "the whole dynamics" of the family changed. Her mother later died of cancer, then "Dad just shut himself away", she said.

"I didn't just lose my brother on 15 April 1989, I lost my parents too. The whole Brookes family died that day."

Earlier, Stephen Clark delivered his mother Jacqueline Gilchrist's tribute to his father, Joseph Clark.

He told the hearing she said life had "never been the same since he died that horrible day".

"Our lives changed and I never really got on with my life. I am still the same to this day," she said in her statement.

Who were the 96 victims?

Eight of the Hillsborough victims, CW from top left: Paul Clark, Stephen Copoc, Tracey Cox, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, Steven Fox, Vincent Fitzsimmons, Christopher Edwards

Mr Clark was one of several relatives who was moved to tears while reading what the families have called "pen portraits".

Amy McGlone also cried as she read her mother Irene's words about her father, Alan McGlone, a Liverpool machine repairer she said had "loved being a dad".

In her statement, Mrs McGlone said her husband had played with his daughters on the street before going to Hillsborough and that the family had been due to go to a party when he returned.

Instead, she said she put her daughters to bed and Amy asked "Mummy, will you tell Daddy to come in and wake us up when he gets home?"

"I am still waiting to wake my girls up out of this nightmare and send their daddy into them," she said.

'World at his feet'

Michael Brady spoke about his brother Paul, a 21-year-old refrigeration engineer from Liverpool who had a "very bubbly and outgoing personality".

He said his brother had been "a people person", who excelled at working with his hands and had loved football, fishing and his job.

"He was fun-loving, the joker in our family, always smiling and a joy to be around," he said.

A statement was read from the recently-deceased father of Stuart Thompson, before his sibling Martin spoke of his "brother and friend" who had "the world at his feet at the time of his death" and was "determined to be a success".

He said that when he died, the 17-year-old "wasn't a child but he wasn't yet an adult. He didn't have time to blossom."

The Leppings Lane End at Hillsborough during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final Teenage brothers Carl and Nicholas Hewitt travelled with a supporters' club to Hillsborough

Speaking about her son David, Jennifer Birtle said he liked music and had been to the Glastonbury festival, but that "once David could run, there was always a football attached to his foot".

"David became an ardent fan of Liverpool Football Club. Sadly that decision was to cost him his life," she said.

Mrs Birtle, who was in Oman when she heard about the disaster.

She said she had "had to listen to two ex-pats reading the paper and saying 'oh, the police say it was hooligans' as if that was OK then, that it was their fault".

She added that her family was "owed an explanation sooner rather than later of how and why David died that day".

The final statement of the day came from the mother of Carl and Nicholas Hewitt, brothers from Leicester who had travelled to Hillsborough on a supporters' club bus.

Brenda Hewitt said her "boys" were "always together [and] together always", who "loved football and were season ticket holders".

The inquests, set to last a year, were ordered after new evidence revealed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel led to the original inquest verdicts being quashed.

The background statements are the first time the court has heard how the disaster affected individual families.

The inquest has been adjourned until Thursday.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Liverpool

Weather

Liverpool

Min. Night 3 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    16:40: Action on cervical cancer

    Liverpool Wavertree MP and Shadow Public Health Minister Luciana Berger MP has called for improved measures to be taken to help prevent cervical cancer, during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

    Ms Berger pointed to the need to reverse declining rates of uptake for cervical screening and continued promotion of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination amongst teenage girls.

    Smear test slide

    "I have challenged NHS England, and Merseyside NHS Area Team in particular, which is responsible for screening and immunisation in Liverpool, to develop an action plan to ensure that women and girls are aware of the symptoms and impact of cervical cancer and to increase uptake of cervical screening and HPV vaccination," said Ms Berger.

     
  2.  
    16:30: Warning over car thefts

    Opportunistic thieves have targeted cars left running and unattended as owners de-iced their windscreens in Childwall, Mossley Hill and Allerton, prompting a police warning.

    Merseyside Police is reminding motorists not to leave their keys in the ignition following a number of vehicle thefts during the recent cold snap.

    All the offences have happened early in the morning, usually when the owner is preparing to drive to work and has gone back into their house to get something.

     
  3.  
    16:17: Trouble-magnet flat closed Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

    A judge has approved the closure of a flat in Widnes following months of trouble such as late-night arguments over drugs running out and a teenager being doused in petrol.

     
  4.  
    16:08: Ings move rumour quashed BBC Sport

    Danny Ings will not leave Burnley in the current transfer window and a deal to sell then loan him back would breach Premier League rules, says the Clarets.

    Burnley striker Danny Ings

    Liverpool have been linked with a move for the 22-year-old striker.

    It was suggested that the Reds would then be willing to loan Ings back to Burnley for the rest of the season.

    But Burnley chief executive Lee Hoos set the record straight, saying that idea would breach Premier League rules.

     
  5.  
    15:57: News on the hour Megan Key BBC Radio Merseyside

    Two police officers and three police staff have been fired from Merseyside's force in the last year for corruption.

    The force has been commended for the way it deals with problems in its ranks by the Police Integrity and Corruption report. It said Merseyside police was leading the way.

    Other forces meanwhile have been criticised for their inability to investigate corruption among their own officers. We hear Chief Supt Karen Cummins from Merseyside Police tell us the force tackles it head on at 16:00.

     
  6.  
    15:46: Teenager racially abused bouncers Chester Chronicle

    A drunk teen who hurled a racial slur at bouncers at Rosies nightclub in Chester got just what he'd been asking for - a ride in the back of a police car.

     
  7.  
    15:36: Everton squad boosted Steve Bower BBC Match of the Day commentator

    Everton midfielders James McCarthy and Darron Gibson and defender Sylvain Distin could all return after their injuries for the trip to Crystal Palace.

    Winger Kevin Mirallas is expected to overcome the hamstring injury that saw him substituted last time out.

     
  8.  
    15:21: Working with the stars' (faces) Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    It's not every day you get to work with Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and Sigourney Weaver but that's how it was for me today at the Face Lab at Liverpool John Moores University.

    Face masks of Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and Sigourney Weaver
     
  9.  
    15:06: 'Face lab' launched Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    A research lab that creates e-fits of criminals and projects how ancient historical figures would have looked, is being launched on Merseyside.

    It is hoped the facility at Liverpool John Moores University will be used by archaeologists and police forces from across the globe.

    The face lab

    I've been to the launch and will be reporting for North West Tonight on BBC One at 18:30.

     
  10.  
    14:56: News on the hour Megan Key BBC Radio Merseyside

    Tributes are being paid to a 13-year-old boy, found dead in a park in Whiston yesterday.

    We will have more on this in our bulletin at 15:00.

     
  11.  
    14:45: Wirral library cuts row Wirral Globe

    A row has blown up after Government ministers criticised the council for cutting opening hours of Wirral libraries.

     
  12.  
    14:32: Park death boy named BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyside Police have confirmed the name of the 13-year-old boy found dead at Stadt Moers Park in Whiston as Terry Hall, who lived locally.

     
  13.  
    14:17: Drug ring fixer's assets stripped Liverpool Echo

    A fixer in a international drugs gang responsible for importing huge volumes of super-strength drugs was ordered to pay back his ill-gotten gains.

    Merseyside crook Richard Harrison, 58, helped arrange an £8m shipment of heroin smuggled in a batch of breadsticks at a meeting between four kingpins at a Liverpool city centre restaurant.

     
  14.  
    14:07: Costa banned for 'stamp'

    Chelsea striker Diego Costa will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after a charge of violent conduct against him was found proven, said the FA.

    Emre Can and Diego Costa

    Costa had denied the charge in relation to an on-field incident, in which he appeared to stamp Liverpool's Emre Can, which occurred in the 12th minute of the League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

    The incident was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.

     
  15.  
    13:57: News on the hour Megan Key BBC Radio Merseyside

    More sleet and snow overnight saw problems on Merseyrail services this morning but bosses insist they were out of their control.

    Listen live to the 14:00 bulletin.

     
  16.  
    13:45: This afternoon's forecast BBC Weather Latest

    Another cold day with brisk winds and sleet showers this afternoon. Highs of 5C (41F).

    More wintry showers overnight as it drops to a chilly -1C.

    As for your weekend - a windy and wet Saturday though Sunday will stay cold it will be dry and sunny.

     
  17.  
    13:38: Fine for 'filthy' Bootle kitchen Liverpool Echo

    Our pictures show the filth at Bootle takeaway restaurant Xu's that saw its owner forced to pay out almost £3,000 for breaching food hygiene regulations.

     
  18.  
    13:25: Milk leaked onto M6

    More than 160 bottles of milk leaked after a lorry overturned on the M6 southbound between J21 and J20, according to a tweet from Cheshire Fire.

     
  19.  
    13:14: Tranmere frontman loaned out Nathan Middleton BBC Sport

    Conference side Southport have signed Tranmere striker George Donnelly on loan until the end of the season.

    George Donnelly George Donnelly was a trainee at Liverpool but was released in 2007

    The 26-year-old had been made available for transfer by Rovers boss Micky Adams at the start of the month.

     
  20.  
    12:57: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    At 13:00 we hear from Merseyrail operations director Andy Heath, as he explains why frozen snow affected the Wirral and Northern lines this morning.

    Listen live to BBC Radio Merseyside.

     
  21.  
    12:47: M6 southbound closure BBC Travel

    The M6 is closed and there is queuing traffic southbound between J21 for Woolston and J20 for the Lymm Interchange because of an overturned lorry.

    Congestion is back to J21a at the Croft Interchange, drivers are warned.

     
  22.  
    12:42: Liverpool v West Ham Simon Brotherton Match of the Day commentator

    Mamadou Sakho is a doubt for Liverpool with a back problem sustained during the midweek League Cup defeat against Chelsea.

    The Reds will be boosted by the return of Daniel Sturridge from his thigh injury.

     
  23.  
    12:31: Blaze victim not yet named Tom Mullen BBC News

    An elderly woman was found dead after firefighters tackled a house fire in St Helens.

    Birchfield Street

    Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were called to Birchfield Street, Thatto Heath at about 23.20 last night.

    The body of the woman, who has not yet been identified, was discovered in the lounge.

     
  24.  
    12:16: Ex-Blues keeper: probation 'in safe hands' Chester Chronicle

    He may be best known for his legendary moves on the pitch but Grenville Millington is determined to show the people of Chester that community payback is in a safe pair of hands.

    The new chairman of the Blues started working in the probation service two years before he hung up his goalkeeping gloves in 1984 - and he has never looked back.

     
  25.  
    11:57: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Latest figures from NHS England show an improvement in A&E waiting times - for the third week in a row. 93% of patients are being seen within four hours - 2% short of the target.

    We hear from the BBC's Health Correspondent Adam Brimelow at 12:00.

     
  26.  
    11:42: Sturridge 'anxious and excited' about return Emlyn Begley BBC Sport

    Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is "anxious and excited" as he prepares to return from five months out injured.

    Daniel Sturridge

    The 25-year-old also told BBC Radio 5 live the mental side of his game has improved during his layoff.

    The former Chelsea striker has not played since suffering a thigh injury while on England duty in September. Since then he has injured his calf and thigh again.

     
  27.  
    11:28: Your views Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    BBC Local Live brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

    Tell us what you think

     
  28.  
    11:18: Warehouse restaurant to close Southport Visiter

    A Southport restaurant owned by businessman Paul Adams and Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard is to close.

     
  29.  
    11:08: Locate gritters near you BBC Travel North West BBC Travel

    Wondering where all the gritters are? This link shows a real-time map with the locations of all gritters across the Cheshire East council area.

    Council gritter
     
  30.  
    10:58: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyside police have told us the death of a 13-year-old boy in Whiston is not being treated as suspicious.

    He was discovered by a member of the public in Stadt Moer Park on Thursday afternoon.

    Officers are working with the coroner to establish the circumstances surrounding his death. Join us for the 11:00 headlines.

     
  31.  
    10:48: Reds bid for striker Ings Ben Smith BBC Sport

    Liverpool will attempt to sign Burnley striker Danny Ings before Monday's transfer deadline.

    Danny Ings

    Manager Brendan Rodgers is willing to loan the 22-year-old back to Sean Dyche's side for the rest of the season in order to complete a deal.

     
  32.  
    10:38: 'Major disruption' from frozen snow Wirral Globe

    Merseyrail is warning frozen snow caused major disruptions at Southport, Kirby, Hunts Cross, Ellesmere Port and Chester.

     
  33.  
    10:28: Health and safety Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    It was our last day looking at the work of Health and Safety Executive in Bootle on BBC Radio Merseyside today. Here's the king!

    Painter doing window ledges over a great height, balancing on wooden boards between open windows
     
  34.  
    10:17: Baines back on spotkicks BBC Sport

    Left-back Leighton Baines, 30, will be restored to Everton penalty duties this weekend after forward Kevin Mirallas' controversial miss against West Bromwich Albion, reports the Daily Telegraph.

    More football gossip is here.

     
  35.  
    10:04: Buy a tile scheme Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

    Each Victorian tile on the floor of the medieval undercroft at Norton Priory is being painstakingly removed by archaeologists under a £3.7m conservation project.

    Victorian tiles at Norton Priory in Runcorn

    A buy-a-tile scheme has been launched to ensure the project to restore the 12th century landmark can be completed.

     
  36.  
    09:54: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A woman's body was discovered by firefighters called to a blaze in St Helens.

    Smoke alarms were fitted and they did activate at the house on Birchfield Street in Thatto Heath late last night.

    More on this story and others in our 10:00 bulletin.

     
  37.  
    09:37: Teenager's body found in park St Helens Star

    The body of a 13-year-old boy has been found at a Whiston park.

    Emergency crews were called by a member of the public to the scene in Stadt Moers Park at about 13:00 yesterday, according to reports.

     
  38.  
    09:21: Probe into inmate's death Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    The Prisons Ombudsman will investigate the death of Lee Rushton, a 34-year-old inmate found in his cell at Walton prison in Liverpool on Wednesday.

     
  39.  
    09:12: Police attending crash scene

    Here's another photograph from the accident on the M62, which is causing major rush hour delays this morning.

    M62 accident

    Thanks to Mark Warren for tweeting us.

     
  40.  
    08:59: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Have we hit what some experts are calling "peak fat"?

    One in three British children are now overweight - but new research suggests childhood obesity rates in England may be levelling off.

    We hear from Simon Capewell, a professor at the University of Liverpool, who founded the campaign group Action on Sugar in our 09:00 bulletin.

     
  41.  
    08:48: Live pictures from M62 accident Tom Mullen BBC News

    Mark Warren has run into trouble at the accident on the M62. He has tweeted these pictures from the scene.

    M62
     
  42.  
    08:40: Wave of mourners expected at traveller funeral Liverpool Echo

    Motorists heading from Merseyside towards Ellesmere Port and Chester are being warned of potential delays as mourners from across the country attend a traveller funeral in Cheshire later.

     
  43.  
    08:30: Blueprint for the future approved

    A document outlining how Cheshire West and Chester will develop over the next 15 years has been approved.

    Cheshire

    Only two councillors voted against the borough's Local Plan at a meeting last night - it details the level and location of development in the borough up to 2030.

    Twenty-two thousand homes will be built and 365 hectares of land have been earmarked for development.

     
  44.  
    08:20: Frozen snow blocks lines BBC Travel

    Frozen snow is blocking Merseyrail train lines at Ellesmere Port and Kirkby, so commuters are warned to expect some disruption.

    The latest information is here.

     
  45.  
    08:17: Motorway crashes warning BBC Travel

    Two lanes are closed on the M62 eastbound at J5 for Huyton because of a crash.

    There is also slow traffic and one lane closed on the M57 southbound between J3 for Stockbridge Village and J2 for the A57 at Prescot, because of another crash.

    Drivers are warned to take care in icy conditions.

     
  46.  
    08:08: Icy start BBC Weather Latest

    An icy start this morning, and another cold feeling day, especially in the brisk north-westerly wind. A scattering of wintry showers, especially this afternoon, but generally fewer than Thursday.

    Snow mainly confined to hills, with sleet at lower levels. Highs of 5C (41F). More about the weekend's outlook is here.

     
  47.  
    08:00: Good morning Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    I'm back with today's news, sport, travel and weather updates for Merseyside.

    Get in touch with us during the day over email, Facebook and Twitter.

     

Features

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.