Police investigate multiple hate letters relating to Hillsborough

Police investigate multiple hate letters relating to Hillsborough

A number of “distressing” letters relating to the Hillsborough Disaster have been sent to people in Ormskirk, police said.

Sick letters relating to the 1989 tragedy have been posted in Ormskirk and the surrounding areas.

Officers said they’ve received a “number of reports” and are investigating who is behind sending the malicious letters.

Police said the letters have caused “a lot of upset and distress”.

In a statement, Ormskirk and Rural West Lancs Police said: “We are currently investigating a number of reports of malicious communications within our community.

“Letters relating to the Hillsborough tragedy have been received by residents in Ormskirk and surrounding areas which have cause a lot of upset and distress.

“If you have received a letter or have any information relating to these letters please contact me on 6689@lancashire.pnn.police.uk Thanks PC Jo.”

The ECHO have approached Lancashire Police for further information.

Police’s statement comes after two Liverpool fans reported receiving offensive, anonymous letters.

The letters sent to addresses in Ormskirk, including to a man who survived the tragedy, are said to have been triggered simply by fans hanging Liverpool FC flags outside their homes.

In an upsetting coincidence, one of the recipients was Carl Edwards, 59, who was at the stadium the day 96 fans were unlawfully killed.

Mr Edwards, originally from Old Swan, told the ECHO he had been away in the Lake District and returned home on Monday, July 13 to find the letter.

The vile note consisted of pictures from the day of the tragedy showing fans caught in the crush, which the sender had downloaded and printed onto an A4 piece of paper.

Mr Edwards received a disturbing letter after celebrating Liverpool’s Premier League win
(Image: Carl Edwards)

The sender had also scrawled the message “die scouse b******* die, ha ha ha, f*** off back to Liverpool” in capital letters with what appears to have been a black marker pen.

An almost identical letter, in an envelope simply addressed to ‘Scousers’, was also sent to Royal Mail driver Sean Flaherty and his beautician wife Helen Flaherty, which arrived on Friday, July 10.

Mr Edwards said he and his wife had seen a post about the letter by Mr Flaherty on Facebook, and were even discussing it when they arrived home from the Lakes and found an unusual envelope.

He told the ECHO: “When I saw the letter, which was a bit rough looking, I said ‘look, here’s ours’.

“We have a lot of flags outside to be honest. You will get people making comments, but equally you will get people beeping their horn and cheering.

(Image: UGC)

“If it was just football banter, that would be fine. I might be a bit affronted or indignant, but now I just feel like with the Hillsborough stuff it becomes my responsibility to report to the police, it becomes a whole other level.”

Mr Edwards said he and his family had originally been stood in the Leppings Lane end on April 15, 1989, but may have been “saved by superstition.”

He said they escaped being caught up in the crush after his dad, Alan Edwards, said before kick off “lets go and stand in the place where we saw us beat [Nottingham Forest] last year”.

The family moved – and later watched on in horror as the devastating tragedy unfolded.

Mr Edwards said his dad, who is understood to the be the “oldest steward at Anfield” at the age of 82, “went white” when he saw the letter.

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He said: “It does upset you.

“My wife and I were talking about how in football there are people you love to hate, like Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho, but it is all within the parameters of an organised thing.

“If you saw them in person and they were in trouble you would help them just like you would help anyone else because you don’t hate the human.

“But this is not about football, this is a hate crime.

“Whoever it is has taken the time to drive past my house, and then gone home, looked up my address, printed off the pictures and sent it in the post.

“I’m thinking to myself, do I feel sorry for this person? They must be very messed up.”

Mr Flaherty, 51, said: “I would not have been bothered if it was just writing, but with it having all these photographs on, it makes you angry but it also makes you really upset as well.

“That someone could laugh at what happened to the 96; I cannot understand how anyone who supports any football team could laugh at that.

“It basically is a pre-meditated hate crime.”

Liverpool Echo – Liverpool News