Premier League - Deputy coroner steps down over Hillsborough comments

Liverpool's deputy coroner has stood down after he was criticised for comments made about the families of Hillsborough victims more than 23 years ago.

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Premier League - Deputy coroner steps down over Hillsborough comments
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Fans pay tribute to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans (AFP)

During initial discussions ahead of the inquest in the immediate aftermath of the 1989 stadium disaster, Doug Fraser – who back then was a solicitor representing the families of victims – said some were using the inquests for “15 minutes of fame”.

He also told South Yorkshire Police that some of the families were “hotheads” and that the cut-off point for evidence submissions should be earlier than the 3.15pm deadline imposed by coroner Dr Stefan Popper.

These comments were only fully revealed in September of last year, and after an investigation by The Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP) Fraser – who has been Liverpool’s deputy coroner since 2000 – has resigned.

Liverpool coroner Andre Rebello told the Echo newspaper that he could not discuss the matter any further because of the fresh inquest, which will be held after the original ‘accidental death’ verdict was quashed.

Fraser is the second person to lose his job in the aftermath of the latest investigation into the disaster, which saw 96 Liverpool fans die.

Sir Norman Bettison was forced to resign as West Yorkshire Police’s chief constable after he was accused of taking a leading role in a Hillsborough cover-up when he was a senior ranking member of South Yorkshire Police.

Bettison denies any wrongdoing.

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