Liverpool

Hillsborough referee says his statement was altered

Footage shown to the Hillsborough jury Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption Ray Lewis was the referee on the pitch on April 15 1989

The referee on duty at Hillsborough on the day of the disaster has said his statement was changed to support allegations fans were drunk.

Ray Lewis told an ITV documentary that a typed version of his statement referred to fans as being "pissed" when he had originally written "mixed".

He said he feels it was placed there to "give support" to "police actions".

An inquests jury found 96 Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed in the 1989 disaster and fans were not to blame.

In the documentary, Mr Lewis tells journalist Peter Marshall: "When I received the typed-up version it said these spectators were pissed. So they changed the word 'mixed' to 'pissed'.

Image caption Ninety-six Liverpool fans died following crushing at Hillsborough stadium, in Sheffield, on 15 April 1989

"The handwriting, I must admit from the police superintendent, isn't particularly good but I'm sure that anyone who would actually look at that would identify the word is definitely not 'pissed'.

"So I just feel it's been placed in there to give support possibly to police actions."

The programme will also reveal that former Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards included allegations of bad behaviour of fans in his statement.

In his statement, Sir Dave described fans shouting lewd comments about a female casualty whose blouse had become unbuttoned. The allegations were also reported in The Sun newspaper.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Former Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards went on to become chairman of Sheffield Wednesday after the disaster at the club's stadium

Programme-makers, who say Sir Dave's description of the apparently dead woman does not match any of the seven women killed in the tragedy, said when they wrote to ask him about his statement their letters were returned unopened.

Two criminal investigations into the disaster, Operation Resolve and the Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry, are due to hand files to the Crown Prosecution Service at the turn of the year.

Hillsborough: Smears, Survivors and the Search for Truth goes out on ITV1 at 22:40 BST on Monday.

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