THE MATCH day police commander in charge on the day of the Hillsborough disaster where a Bromsgrove man died, went to a social club hours after the tragedy, a court has heard.
Insp Harry White made the claim as he gave evidence on Wednesday (September 17) to the new inquests into the deaths of the 96 fans, which are being conducted in Warrington.
He said on the day of the mass incident which occurred in 1989, he spent time in the gym at the Sheffield Wednesday ground where the bodies of dead supporters had been moved to.
Then Mr White revealed he went to the police sports club for a drink before going home, where he saw and spoke to Ch Supt David Duckenfield, the match day commander from South Yorkshire Police.
He said: “It was very, very rare I went for drink. I went at 11pm.
“There was quite a lot of officers there including Mr Duckenfield, Mr Murray (Supt Bernard Murray), and all, lots of other inspectors, chief inspectors, as well. There was quite a hullabaloo being talked.”
Mr White added he was ‘gobsmacked’ when Mr Duckenfield told him he had personally ordered for a gate to be opened at the ground which allowed more fans to enter.
The original verdicts for the deaths of the 96 fans were quashed following the findings of an independent report in 2012 which found police had altered witness statements in a bid to blame the disaster on intoxicated Liverpool supporters.
The hearings continue.
Visit www.hillsboroughinquests.independent.gov.uk to read the full court transcripts.