TitleHM Coroner, South Yorkshire (West): Hillsborough Stadium Disaster
AdminHistoryAt the FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, which was held at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough Stadium, on 15 April 1989 a tragedy unfolded that involved the death of many Liverpool supporters.

Many supporters had been delayed in getting to Sheffield and were unable to get into the ground in time for the kick-off. There was considerable pressure on the turnstile entrance and, to avoid injury, the police decided to open an exit gate to let more fans in. This resulted in a major influx of fans into an already crowded part of the ground, causing many to be crushed against security barriers at the edge of the pitch.

96 of them died from their injuries:
Colin Wafer,
Stephen Francis O'Neill,
Simon Bell,
Roy Harry Hamilton,
Christopher Edwards,
James Gary Aspinall,
Derrick George Godwin,
Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton,
David Hawley,
Martin Kenneth Wild,
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron,
Adam Edward Spearritt,
David William Birtle,
Stephen Francis Harrison,
Gary Harrison,
Gary Collins,
Peter McDonnell,
Henry Charles Rogers,
Gary Philip Jones,
John McBrien,
Stephen Paul Copoc,
Francis Joseph McAllister,
Stuart Paul William Thompson,
William Roy Pemberton,
Tracey Elizabeth Cox,
David Leonard Thomas,
Peter Andrew Harrison,
Paul Clark,
David George Rimmer,
Kevin Tyrrell,
Carl Brown,
Arthur Horrocks,
Sarah Louise Hicks,
Victoria Jane Hicks,
Paul Anthony Hewitson,
Andrew Mark Brookes,
Inger Shah,
Gordon Rodney Horn,
Christine Anne Jones,
David John Benson,
Joseph Clark,
Peter Reuben Thompson,
Thomas Steven Fox,
Colin Mark Ashcroft,
Ian David Whelan,
David Steven Brown,
Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons,
Anthony Peter Kelly,
Jon Paul Gilhooley,
Henry Thomas Burke,
Christopher Barry Devonside,
Jonathon Owens,
James Robert Hennessy,
David William Mather,
James Philip Delaney,
John Alfred Anderson,
Christopher James Traynor,
Martin Kevin Traynor,
Philip John Steele,
Marian Hazel McCabe,
Steven Joseph Robinson,
Thomas Howard,
Thomas Anthony Howard,
Graham John Roberts,
Kester Roger Marcus Ball,
Eric George Hughes,
Raymond Thomas Chapman,
Lee Nicol,
Paul Brian Murray,
Brian Christopher Matthews,
Graham John Wright,
Michael David Kelly,
Carl Darren Hewitt,
Nicholas Michael Hewitt,
Peter Francis Tootle,
Nicholas Peter Joynes,
Kevin Daniel Williams,
Philip Hammond,
Patrick John Thompson
Eric Hankin,
Gary Christopher Church,
Joseph Daniel McCarthy,
Paula Ann Smith,
Paul William Carlile,
Carl David Lewis,
Peter Andrew Burkett,
Richard Jones,
Barry Glover,
Alan Johnston,
Carl William Rimmer,
Alan McGlone,
Keith McGrath,
Ian Thomas Glover,
Paul David Brady,
Barry Sidney Bennett.

Tony Bland (in Apr 1993)

At approximately 3.45 - 4.00pm on the day of the disaster, the South Yorkshire (West) Coroner, Dr Stefan Popper was informed of fatalities and he immedialety started to make his arrangements for dealing with them. This is detailed in CC6/1.

The initial (or mini) inquests were held between 18 April and 4 May 1989.

An inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Taylor, published its findings (known as the Taylor report) in August 1989 and January 1990. It outlined the events of that day and made a number of recommendations on football stadium design. Copies of the reports are available in the Local Studies and the Reference and Information Services libraries in Sheffield Central Library.

In November 1990 the Coroner chaired the main (or resumed) inquest into the deaths. He ruled that only events up until 3.15 pm would be considered, as by that time all the victims had received injuries which led to their deaths. The verdict of the inquest, announced on 28 Mar 1991 was one of accidental death. Having lasted 80 days the inquests were the longest in British legal history. It is believed they were also the first to have been videotaped. In 1992-3 the families of the victims unsuccessfully challenged the verdict in a judicial review in the High Court.

The application for the judicial review was submitted by the following families: Carlile, Glover, Sinclair (sister of Michael Kelly), Jones, Tootle and Williams. The families sought to quash the conclusion or verdict of accidental death recorded at the inquest on 28 March 1991. The Case No. was CO/1009/92.

This collection of Coroner's papers consist mainly of the transcripts and videotape recordings of the mini and resumed inquests. Also included are copies of transcripts of the Taylor Inquiry, the Coroner's Judicial Review files and his administrative and correspondence files.
DescriptionPublic Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Taylor, May - Jul 1989 (CC5/1)
Transcripts of proceedings (CC5/1/1)
Number not used (CC5/1/2)
Photographic Evidence (CC5/1/3)
Statements of persons giving evidence (CC5/1/4)
Other Inquiry Documents (analysis charts) (CC5/1/5)

Mini-Inquests, Apr - May 1990 (CC5/2)
Transcripts of proceedings (CC5/2/1)
Video tapes of proceedings (CC5/2/2-3)
Audio cassettes of proceedings (CC5/2/4)
Booklet produced for those attending the inquests (CC5/2/5)

Resumed Inquests, Nov 1990 - Mar 1991 (CC5/3)
Transcripts of proceedings (incomplete) (CC5/3/1)
Video tapes of proceedings (CC5/3/2)
Video tapes used as evidence (CC5/3/3)
Statements (CC5/3/4)
Correspondence and papers (CC5/3/5)

Visual evidence (known as 'body files') (CC5/4)

Judicial Review files (CC5/5)

Administrative and correspondence files (CC5/6)

West Midlands Police Report to the Director of Public Prosecutions, 1990 (CC5/7)
Date1985 - 1993
Extentc. 692 items (including 1,491 photographs, 265 VHS videotapes and 113 audio cassettes).
AccessConditionsSome of the items in this collection are in the public domain (for instance the transcripts of the Public Inquiry (CC5/1/1) are available in Sheffield Local Studies Library, ref: 796.334 SSTQ). Other documents have been made publically available (for instance, some, if not all of the photograph albums have been made available to the public). Some documents are also accessible under section 57 of the Coroner's Rules of 1984. Generally, however, access to Coroner's Court records is restricted for a minimum of 30 years under section 32 of the Freedom of Information Act. The records are also subject to a concurrent restriction of 75 years under the Data Protection Act.
Where access has been granted it was usually provided through West Midlands Police, or later, South Yorkshire Police rather then direct from the Coroner. It would appear the Coroner referred any enquiries for copies of documentation to the police.

It is highly likely that most of the material in CC5 is duplicated in the South Yorkshire Police collection (SYP).

Please refer to Sheffield Archives staff for advice on how to access these records.
RelatedMaterialRelated items at Sheffield Archives:

Sources for the Study of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster, 2010 (Sheffield Libraries Archives and Information, 2010)

Papers of the Judicial Review (X242)

South Yorkshire Police: Hillsborough Disaster papers (SYP)

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service: Hillsborough Disaster papers (SY341)

Related items at Sheffield Local Studies:

Hillsborough Stadium Disaster: Inquiry by the Rt Hon Lord Justice Taylor: Interim Report (HMSO, 1989)
(Sheffield Local Studies Library: 796.334 SQ)

Hillsborough Stadium Disaster: Inquiry by the Rt Hon Lord Justice Taylor: Final Report, (HMSO 1990)
(Sheffield Local Studies Library: 796.334 SQ)

Hillsborough Stadium Disaster: Inquiry by the Rt Hon Lord Justice Taylor. Transcript of Proceedings, 15 May - 29 Jun 1989
(Sheffield Local Studies Library: 796.334 SSTQ)

Scrutiny of evidence relating to the Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster , Sir Murray Stuart-Smith, (HMSO, 1998)
(Sheffield Local Studies Library: 796.334 SQ)
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