The Hillsborough inquests commenced on March 31, 2014 and are the subject of reporting restrictions that have been imposed by the Attorney General's office. Liverpool Football Club is respectful of these restrictions and will therefore only be making available updates from other media channels for the duration of the inquest.
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Courtesy of Press Association - July 2
Police motorcyclists monitoring traffic outside Hillsborough in 1989 were called away from the ground for a refreshment break shortly after the kick-off of the fateful FA Cup semi-final, the inquest into the tragedy has heard.
Malcolm Hodgson, then a police constable with South Yorkshire Police, recorded that at 3.02pm he had finished escorting coaches to the match and had sent a message to force control asking what he should do next.
He told Stephen Simblet, representing some of the bereaved families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster, that he was told to go on the planned break for traffic officers.
The barrister asked: "Nobody was saying 'we have got a problem, we have got an emergency, you need to attend'. You were being sent off on your break as expected?"
Mr Hodgson replied: "At the time, yes."
The witness said he travelled three and half miles away from the ground en route to a South Yorkshire Police outpost before he was told at 3.15pm to return immediately to the ground.
He said he arrived 10 minutes later and was met by an ambulance containing two casualties which he then escorted to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital.
Mr Hodgson said at that stage he had "no idea of the magnitude of what was taking place" because he could not access his basic VHF radio.
He said: "The ambulance service just briefly said a barrier had collapsed and there were some injured people."
He then escorted four or five ambulances from the hospital to the football ground - which was hosting the tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest - and arrived at 3.50pm where he recalled the scene was then "chaotic" with police officers "in a daze" and a change in the crowd atmosphere.
Mr Hodgson said: "My most poignant memory is a man who was completely upset...he came and literally screamed in my face 'you caused this'.
"I thought at that point I was going to be pushed off my motorcycle and possibly injured. I was afraid slightly for what might happen."
On his next return convoy visit he said traffic on Penistone Road was gridlocked and he joined ambulance staff on foot to try to get to the ground.
At that point he said there were about 100 ambulances in the vicinity.
Mr Hodgson told Fiona Barton, representing South Yorkshire Police, that the radio problems did not affect the performance of his duties on the day as he followed his training.
He agreed with Paul Greaney, representing the Police Federation, that South Yorkshire Police in the 1980s was "highly regimented" as an organisation and that in fact he had completed his initial force training at an RAF base.
Officers were expected to stand to attention when a senior police officer entered the room and even salute them, he also agreed.
Mr Greaney asked: "Do you agree that within South Yorkshire Police there was in no sense a culture in which junior officers were encouraged to question or challenge orders they were given by a more senior officer?"
Mr Hodgson said: "Yes."
Mr Hodgson said he had witnessed scenes of hooliganism during his policing of football matches in the 1980s and agreed that such experiences would be on his mind when he was on duty.
Earlier the inquests heard that up to 100 ticketholders for the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough at the 1981 FA Cup semi-final could not watch the game because the terrace was full.
A total of 38 fans were injured in a crush at the tie between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers as Spurs fans spilled on to the perimeter track and others climbed fences shortly after the start of the game.
Jurors sitting in Warrington, Cheshire, have seen a video of the incident in which the Spurs crowd surged forward as their team took the lead four minutes into the game.
It took place in the Leppings Lane end which was the scene of the fatal crush eight years later.
Giving evidence today, Spurs fan James Chumley told the inquests he was among fans who arrived late to the match because of delays on the motorway.
He said he entered the turnstiles at about 3.05pm but as he attempted to get on to the terrace was stopped by a police officer and told he was not allowed to go any further.
Mr Chumley said another officer later told him "a similar situation" had happened at other major events held at the stadium with supporters unable to gain access to the terrace.
The witness said: "He was clear we were at the wrong end."
Christina Lambert QC, counsel for the inquest, asked: "What did you understand by that?"
Mr Chumley replied: "Too many supporters, not enough space...the terracing was full.
"In his opinion the capacity of the stand was overdeclared."
He explained that up to 100 fellow supporters were also denied entry to the terrace.
The court heard Mr Chumley wanted stewards and police officers to endorse his ticket to show he had not seen the game which they refused and "found amusing".
He wrote a letter to Sheffield Wednesday three days later to ask for a refund on his £2.50 ticket.
Mr Chumley said he never heard back from the club.
Andrew Waters, representing Sheffield Wednesday, told the court there was evidence that then chairman Herbert McGee had taken note of a number of similar complaints from Spurs fans and a meeting was later held with police in a bid to take steps to avoid a repeat of the problem.
The inquest has previously heard that it emerged that the stipulated capacity may have been exceeded by 335.
A number of Spurs fans who had obtained tickets for the Spion Kop had to be transferred to their allocated Leppings Lane end, it transpired.
Among concerns voiced in later talks involving the relevant authorities was that the total capacity of 10,100 for the Leppings Lane terrace - before pens were introduced - was "too high".
The hearing continues tomorrow.