Hillsborough survivor tells of inquest joy

Paula Tester, is a survivor of the Hillsborough disaster'Paula is pictured on the terraces at Fleetwood Football Club. PIC BY ROB LOCK
Paula Tester, is a survivor of the Hillsborough disaster'Paula is pictured on the terraces at Fleetwood Football Club. PIC BY ROB LOCK
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A LIVERPOOL fan from Fleetwood has welcomed a High Court decision to quash the original accidental death verdicts for the Hillsborough 
victims and ordered new inquests.

But Paula Tester, of Ash Street, who was at Hillsborough on that fateful day, is still angry that it has taken fans so long to get justice – 23 years after the tragedy left 96 Reds’ supporters dead.

On the same day a new police inquiry into the disaster was announced, the fight for the truth took an historic step forward when a panel of three High Court judges quashed the original accidental death verdicts and ordered a fresh inquest.

The landmark ruling has been welcomed by the families of the fans who died in an horrific crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium.

Back in September, a damning report from the Hillsborough Independent Panel revealed a widespread cover-up by police to put officers in a favourable light and deflect blame for the disaster on to Liverpool fans.

Ms Tester, 50, was at Hillsborough to watch Liverpool play Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup semi-final in April 1989.

She says her own life was saved when a stranger pulled her clear.

She then saw fans dying on the pitch, and the horror of the incident has stayed with her.

She said: “I feel so sorry for the families of those who died, having to go through inquests all over again. I really feel for them.

“The whole thing has been terrible and frustrating. It should never have taken this long.

“But now they may get the verdict they want.

“I have never met any of the families who lost loved ones, but I have attended memorial services at Anfield and always feel very close to what happened.

“I just hope the families will be able to move on, eventually.

“The fans weren’t to blame – that’s the main thing.”

The ruling means a new inquest into the deaths, to be held next year, will re-examine the roles of the police and other emergency services, Sheffield Council and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

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