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Bromsgrove man killed in Hillsborough disaster 'could have been saved'
10:50am Tuesday 18th September 2012 in Local
THE sister of Andrew Brookes, the Bromsgrove man killed in the Hillsborough disaster, says she was left speechless after being told her brother could have been saved.
But Louise Brookes, aged 41, says she was particularly angry to discover Police National Computer (PNC) checks were made on her brother as part of the attempt, according to a new report, to “impugn the reputations of the deceased”.
Mr Brookes was 26 when he died at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, held at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, in 1989.
Ms Brookes attended Liverpool Cathedral on September 12 with relatives of the other 95 people who died, to hear the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report.
The panel spent two years probing once secret papers.
The relatives heard shocking revelations about the stadium disaster and the subsequent cover up by the authorities - seen by many as the biggest in British history.
Ms Brookes said she was told by Dr Bill Kirkup, the medical advisor on the panel, that her brother was one of 41 people who could have been saved.
“I was speechless - I never thought I would hear that.
“People were collapsing round me when they heard their relatives could have been saved.”
Ms Brookes said she was horrified to learn Mr Brookes was one of those checked by officers using the PNC.
The criminal record checks were carried out as part of an attempt to take blame away from the authorities, instead forcing it on the 96 victims and the hundreds injured.
“I used to work for the police - I know you have to have a credible reason to do a PNC check,” she said.
“There wasn’t a credible reason, so someone committed a crime.
“I want the name of that officer, and the name of the senior officer who instructed them.
“I am really gunning for this now - I want them in the dock.”
Ahead of the report's publication Ms Brookes told the Advertiser she was sceptical about what would be revealed.
Ms Brookes said she was glad that the truth the families had always known was now out, but criticised the numerous apologies made since the report’s release as “too little too late”.
Among the panel’s findings were that 164 police statements were "significantly amended" and negative comments about the policing operation were removed from 116 statements.
Ms Brookes said: “It is absolutely disgraceful.
“Those who prevented the course of justice need to be held to account.”
The original inquest into Mr Brookes' death recorded a verdict of accidental death. Ms Brookes added she was now pushing for a fresh inquest into her brother’s death.