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Hillsborough apology 'a breakthrough', says Trevor Hicks, father of killed Hatch End sisters
A Hillsborough campaigner who lost his two Hatch End daughters in the 1989 tragedy has welcomed the Prime Minister’s apology for police failures.
Trevor Hicks, whose daughters Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, were crushed to death in the stadium along with 94 other fans in the disaster on April 15, 1989, said that David Cameron’s apology in the House of Commons earlier this afternoon was “a breakthrough”.
Mr Hicks, 65, who is part of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, has campaigned for justice for 23 years on behalf of those who died in the crush in the Leppings Lane Terrace at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Sarah was a student at Liverpool University, and her sister, Victoria, was a pupil at Haberdashers' Aske's Girls' School in Elstree.
A damning independent report into the disaster released today found that there was a failure by authorities to protect people, revealed that police and the ambulance service tried to cover up their shortcomings and decided “conclusively” that fans did not cause or contribute to the deaths.
Speaking at a press conference inside Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Mr Hicks said the families of the dead "knew nothing about the incompetencies of the ambulance service until today”, but that he did not blame “the guys on the shop floor”.
He added: “There were two disasters – one that happened on the day and what happened afterwards.
“We feel a breakthrough has been made. The truth is out today and the justice starts tomorrow.
“What we got was an unequivocal and unreserved apology and I was staggered by that, I have to say, because I hold politicians by pretty low regard.
“It’s not going to be put right overnight. I can’t use the term ‘it’s a day for rejoicing’, because it’s not. But at least the truth is out.”
The campaigner added that those involved in cover-ups must “resign and stand up and apologise”, but rejected the apology of Kelvin Mackenzie, the former editor of The Sun who ran an infamous ‘The Truth’ headline the day after the disaster, calling him “a clever lowlife”.
Mr Hicks lived in both Rayners Lane and Hatch End, but moved to Yorkshire in 1990 to work as managing director of an engineering and wholesale distribution business.
Speaking in Parliament earlier, Mr Cameron apologised on behalf of the Government for the failures that led to the deaths and the action taken afterwards.
He said: “The new evidence that we are presented with today makes clear that these families have suffered a double injustice.
“The injustice of the appalling events – the failure of the state to protect their loved ones and the indefensible wait to get to the truth.
“And the injustice of the denigration of the deceased – that they were somehow at fault for their own deaths.
“On behalf of the government – and indeed our country – I am profoundly sorry for this double injustice that has been left uncorrected for so long.”