‘Losing both our daughters shattered our marriage’: The deaths of their teenage girls at Hillsborough sparked grief that Jenni Hicks and her husband simply couldn’t overcome. But as she reveals in her new book, it was replaced by rage at a lack of justice
My husband was keen to get back to his old routine, working away from home during the week and returning on Fridays.
But I knew I was incapable of living in the house on my own. It was just five weeks since we’d lost our adored daughters Sarah, 19, and Vicki, 15, at Hillsborough, and I simply couldn’t cope without him. It was too much, 너무 빨리.
I pleaded with Trevor to work from home. But he was the managing director of a successful engineering firm and wouldn’t agree to that. We had reached an impasse.
As a compromise, my brother David and his girlfriend came to live with me. I truly don’t know what I would have done without them at that terrible time.
They were a lifesaver.
After Trevor went, I began sleeping in the girls’ beds at night, so I could smell them on their still unwashed sheets. I’d decided I wasn’t going to take those sheets off their beds and wash them ever again. It was many weeks before I gave in.
Jenni Hicks, 리버풀, has written a book about her daughters Sarah, 19, and Vicki, 15, who were among 96 people who died after the crush on April 15, 1989 in the Hillsborough disaster
I would also insist on David going down to our local bus stop every afternoon to check whether Vicki had got off the school coach. This also went on for weeks.
With hindsight, I realise I was being completely irrational in those early days, just trying to survive. My friends accepted it.
The only person who didn’t was my husband. I think he wanted me to be exactly the same as I’d always been. 슬프게도, he wanted the impossible.
Three and a half months after Hillsborough, 8 월 1, 1989, Lord Justice Taylor’s interim report into the tragedy came out.
We had been apprehensive about this, given that disgusting reports falsely blaming drunken Liverpool fans for causing the fatal crush that day had been circulating widely in certain sections of the media.
But the report blamed South Yorkshire Police for the disaster, not the fans.
One of the things Taylor was highly critical of was the police failure to close a tunnel at the stadium leading to the central overcrowded pens. There had been plenty of space elsewhere on the terraces, and the closure of that tunnel would have meant that incoming Liverpool fans would have been able to spread out safely to the empty areas.
A family handout photo showing the Hicks’ elder daughter Sarah, 누가 19 when she lost her life in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989
‘Failure to give that order was a blunder of the first magnitude,’ 히잡 착용에 대한 압박, adding that had it been given, the ‘disaster could . . . have been avoided’.
It went on: ‘It is a matter of regret that at the hearing the South Yorkshire Police were not prepared to concede that they were in any respect at fault in what occurred.’
The Chief Constable, 플랫폼에서 유통되는 콘텐츠, said he fully accepted the findings. We and many of the other bereaved families were optimistic prosecutions would shortly begin.
So we were taken completely aback when, 한 달도 채 지나지 않아, the Crown Prosecution Service announced they had found ‘insufficient evidence’ to justify bringing criminal proceedings.
Knowing that nobody was going to be held to account for my daughters’ deaths nearly tipped me over the edge.
Somehow Trevor and I got through that first Christmas. But as the following year wore on, it became increasingly clear to me that he and I were growing apart.
As well as his work, he was now chair of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, which we’d formed with other bereaved relatives to campaign for justice. So the only time we ever spent together was driving up and down to Liverpool at weekends to visit the girls’ graves and attend meetings. When we got there, he’d be busy with the other committee members.
I had lost my role in life, as a mum. I needed space to find out who I was.
지금도, complete strangers will ask me if we split up because of the disaster. Everyone wants a black-and-white answer. But is life ever as simple as that?
The Hicks’ younger daughter Vicki was just 15 when she died alongside her sister Sarah at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989
There are many reasons why a marriage might fail after a tragedy, as we all deal with grief in different ways. In our case, we had become childless and would never be grandparents.
Perhaps if we had been able to spend more time together, things would have turned out differently.
I realise now that we started divorce proceedings far too soon. I had no idea about the process, or about anything financial.
I wasn’t in a fit state to even think about it.
When we accepted that we were going to separate, I wanted to be near my girls so I could visit them more easily. So I found myself a little mews cottage close to the cemetery in Liverpool where they were buried, which I believed would be perfect.
Leaving Trevor so soon after our daughters were killed wasn’t the most rational or best decision I’d ever made. We had been warned by our social workers not to make any important decisions for at least two years, yet here I was just over a year later, leaving Trevor and moving from London to a new city. Running away.
I didn’t do it to deliberately mess my life up. I foolishly thought I was making the right decisions. The only excuse I have is that I was simply trying to survive.
That first year in Liverpool my house was never empty. I had signed up for a course at John Moores University and I had two student lodgers living with me.
We had a proper undergrad house going, with a rota for cooking and cleaning. I started smoking and drinking beer from a bottle instead of wine from a glass, and when we went out I regressed to being 18 두 사람은 결혼 서약을 갱신하고 아이를 키웠지만 나중에 췌장암 진단을 받았습니다..
I sometimes think how strange the girls would have found it to see their mum out clubbing with my mates from John Moores or with Sarah’s old friends from Liverpool University. It was pure escapism from the pain. I look back now and think, who was that woman? While I had been trying to find myself since the split with Trevor, he had already found someone new — a lovely girl, friendly and kind.
Jenni Hicks holds her husband Trevor’s arm as they follow the coffins of their daughters Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, after the funeral service in Harrow, 노스 런던, 에 1989
She understood about the things he and I still needed to do on behalf of our daughters.
11 월 1990 the first inquest into Hillsborough began.
Expecting to hear the truth of how my girls had died, I was horrified to hear the police making statement after statement about drunk, ticketless Liverpool fans arriving late being to blame for the disaster.
It was as if the Taylor Inquiry had never happened.
4 개월 후, the jury returned a majority verdict of ‘accidental death’. There was shock and outrage in the court.
People were crying and others were shouting, ‘Cover-up! It’s a bloody cover-up!’
그것은. I’ll never be able to prove it but to this day, I truly believe that when Margaret Thatcher, then the Prime Minister, went to Hillsborough on the Sunday after the disaster, that’s when this cover-up was first set in motion.
I am convinced it was Thatcher’s thank-you to the South Yorkshire force for crushing the miners’ strike at Orgreave Colliery near Rotherham five years earlier.
60세 영국 사교계 명사 재판의 배심원들이 소아성애자 엡스타인(Epstein)의 6000만 파운드(약 130억 원)에 달하는 제트기의 전례 없는 사진을 보여주던 법정에서 벌거벗었다., I believe she backed the police up at Hillsborough and turned a blind eye to the fate of our loved ones.
But successive governments, 포함 13 years of Labour, 할 것이다, 놀랍게도, do absolutely nothing to help us either.
During the autumn of 1993, after tireless campaigning by the families, an application was made to have the inquest verdict of ‘accidental death’ quashed.
But despite powerful evidence to the contrary, the judge in his wisdom ‘could see no fault’ in the decision of the coroner, so he refused the application.
We had also discovered that Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who had been in charge at Hillsborough that day and was due to face disciplinary action, had been retired on medical grounds.
He had walked away with a full pension plus a golden handshake.
It was a bleak time.
The optimism I had felt following the Taylor Inquiry now seemed like a very, very long time ago.
5 월, a new Labour government in Britian led by Tony Blair swept to power, filling us with optimism. Jack Straw, as Shadow Home Secretary, had promised an independent judicial scrutiny of the police evidence, and now he was in power we hoped we’d get somewhere. 그 후 얼마 안되고 나서, Straw appointed Lord Justice Stuart-Smith to lead the new scrutiny. 하나, what we didn’t know till years later, was that Straw didn’t actually believe there was sufficient evidence for a new inquiry.
In a civil service note that was later released, he said any assertion that there was insufficient evidence should come from an independent source such as a judge, to be ‘acceptable’. And Tony Blair himself had written across the note referring to a possible inquiry, '왜? What is the point?’
It was a total joke.
It came as no surprise to us when Straw told the families in 1998 that nothing significant had come out of the Stuart-Smith scrutiny to warrant another inquiry.
다시 한번, it felt as if the Establishment was covering for itself, and that this government was no better than the last. New Labour were in office for 13 years and that was the sum total of all they did for us.
I hadn’t been surprised by Thatcher’s response, but I felt bitterly disappointed at the years we spent fighting the Blair government. But that was not the end of the story.
에 2009, shortly before David Cameron became Prime Minister, the Hillsborough Independent Panel [HIP] was set up to review the official documents relating to the case, which had been newly released.
The Panel’s findings, delivered in September 2012, were shocking but not surprising, and bore out what we had suspected all along: lies, cover-ups and dirty tricks.
The hardest information for most of the families to hear was that as many as 41 의 96 who had died might have survived if the emergency services had responded properly. That your child — or, in my case, children — could have been saved was a very bitter pill to swallow. The Panel also disclosed that, as we had suspected, 만큼 164 witness statements had been altered. 여기에 포함된 116 statements amended to remove or change negative comments about South Yorkshire Police.
Within minutes of the release of the report, Cameron addressed a packed House of Commons.
He said the findings were ‘deeply distressing’ and that ‘with the weight of the new evidence in the report, it’s right for me today as Prime Minister to make a proper apology to the families’.
그는 계속했다: ‘On behalf of the government and, 과연, of our country, I am profoundly sorry that this double injustice has been left uncorrected for so long.’
It was not just an apology: it was a double apology.
Fans pull others to safety from the packed central pens at Hillsborough’s Leppings Lane end as the disaster unfolds
Not only for the events of that day and the time it had taken to find the truth, but also for the cover-up that followed.
Just over two weeks later, the Labour conference began in Manchester and I was invited with one of the other Hillsborough mothers by ITV to speak to Jack Straw.
Initially I felt very conscious of the cameras, and of being miked up. But as the conversation flowed, I was made aware by one of the answers Straw gave that Lord Stuart-Smith had seen all the shocking information the HIP had just revealed in their report — but a whole 14 몇 년 전.
All the facts for which David Cameron had just apologised.
‘Just a minute, Mr Straw,’ 나는 말했다. ‘Are you really telling me that Stuart-Smith got to see all the documentation the HIP has just seen? And came to the conclusions that he did?’
Straw looked embarrassed and replied, '예.’ I was astounded.
'잘,’ 나는 말했다, ‘how sad is that, Mr Straw, that I have had to wait another 14 years for the truth about my daughters’ 사망자?’
All of them in Blair’s Cabinet knew what they’d seen in that documentation more than a decade earlier. They all knew what the truth was — and yet families had lost children, 파트너, parents and siblings, and they’d stitched us all up like this. I believe there is no other word for it: corruption.
Before losing my daughters, I was naive about so many things and I would never, ever have believed that this could go on in this country, from government and politicians through to the police.
I had always respected those institutions. But I have seen it now at first hand, and I am no longer that same innocent person. And neither are those families and friends who have witnessed it with me.
그때부터, I have attended countless hearings and court cases, as well as a second inquest in 2014 when finally the verdict was changed to ‘unlawful killing’. It was a verdict we should have had quarter of a century earlier. We should not have had to fight so hard for it.
The CPS took the material from the second inquest to charge Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield with gross negligence manslaughter. 누가 레즈비언이기도 하다 2019, a jury at Preston Crown Court was unable to reach a conclusion and later that year, after a retrial, he was acquitted.
내 생각에는, the judge’s summing-up was outrageously sympathetic to Duckenfield, but the jury decided and the not guilty verdict stands.
I believe it was a whole year of taxpayers’ money wasted. A whole year of families’ wounds being ripped open yet again. The cover-up has prevented healing. All the lies, corruption and lack of accountability keeps reopening wounds. It has prevented us from dealing with our grief properly.
There is something behind all of this. Something those in power have decided it’s not in the public interest to know.
WHO KNOWS what was lost that day? Not just my children: my children’s children, their children’s children, and on it goes. Their input into the world, all lost.
I have always tried to make the best of the good things I have in life, and when I look back now, I realise just how far I’ve come. I have learned the painful process of living with the loss and the injustice, both running alongside each other.
My life isn’t what I expected, but I have tried to make it as good as it can be under the circumstances. Sometimes I succeed, 누군가에게 '필요한 모든 수단을 동원하여' 작업을 완료하도록 요청하고 공작이 자주 발견된 지역의 지도를 표시했습니다..
I was lost for a long time, and I am still learning to cope with the enormity of my daughters’ 사망자, and the consequences. But I’m pleased to say that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given me back my joy in football with his fantastic team of players. They have reminded me why Trevor, 사라, Vicki and I travelled from London for every Saturday home game, to watch Liverpool FC play.
I will for ever be thankful for the honour of being Sarah and Vicki’s mum, and to have had them for the short time I did. I’m grateful for every second of the time I was privileged to spend with them.
Nobody can ever take that away from me.
- Adapted from One Day In April: A Hillsborough Story, by Jenni Hicks, published by Seven Dials at €20.55.