Hillsborough Independent Panel report blasted by Sir Norman Bettison

Sir Norman Bettison blasts Hillsborough Independent Panel report for not being 'open-minded'

Tributes to the 96 outside Hillsborough stadium

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Former South Yorkshire police chief Sir Norman Bettison has blasted the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and the investigation into the disaster for not being "open-minded"

The police officer has released Hillsborough Untold: Aftermath Of A Disaster, which details his account of his role in the tragedy and the following events.

Earlier this year an inquest found the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the 1989 disaster were unlawfully killed. The verdict also returned that the supporters were not to blame for the incident.

Sir Norman, who is currently under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for his role in the aftermath of the event, denied there was any cover-up within the force after the disaster. He suggested the ongoing inquiry had not been "open-minded".

He said: "I was the only person named in the report that remained alive and who was still serving as a police officer. The last man standing, so to speak.

"I had also been a public figure in Merseyside and had risen to the rank of chief constable. I immediately became the poster boy for conspiracy theorists... and the whipping boy for revenge."

"For anyone who already had a prejudice about the police role post-disaster, there were references that allowed them to infer all kinds of mischief.

"The Hillsborough Panel were struck by the one-sided view offered by the report but seemed pretty clear that it was only ever an internal report."

Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died in the disaster, called Sir Norman a "sad man" in response to this book.

She said: "We have nothing to worry about. We have already proven our case for the families, the fans and the survivors.

"His book is irrelevant. The truth is out there and that's all that matters.

"I think he's a sad man."