CAMPAIGNING ex-miner Kevin Horne this week stated the case for a full inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave, insisting: “We need a clean sweep so my grandchildren can trust the police”.
Kevin, who was arrested at the notorious confrontation in 1984 but never taken to court, said his family had been infected with a “disease” of distrust of South Yorkshire Police which would persist until the battle was properly investigated.
“After what happened, my wife and I don’t really have any respect for the police and, unfortunately, my sons caught the same disease,” he said.
“I really want it to end and for my grandchildren to be on good terms with the copper on the beat.”
Kevin and fellow members of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign travelled to Westminster last month for their first meeting with new home secretary Amber Rudd, when they urged her to signal a full inquiry.
Ms Rudd said she would given a formal decision by the end of October and it was reported a week on that she was expected to approve the group’s request.
Kevin said he was optimistic that an inquiry would be ordered, revealing that Ms Rudd spoke at the meeting about what “format” the investigation would take.
“She has nothing to lose, really,” said Kevin. “The evidence should mean we are pushing against an open door.
“She was really positive and it was encouraging.”
Even if an inquiry was ordered, Kevin said, it was important it took the right approach, with a member of the OTJC on any panel put together.
“We were talking to Margaret Aspinall from the Hillsborough campaign and she said they had to push to get someone on that panel and she’s glad they did,” he added.
Kevin said he understood the IPCC had a wealth of papers on Orgreave and noted that Sheffield Council has advertised for an archivist to look through the archives for relevant material.
Brought up in Rawmarsh in NCB housing, Kevin said: “You never saw the police”, adding: “If you did anything wrong, they would give you a clip round the ear and then tell your dad and he would give you another one.”
But Kevin’s dad couldn’t sort everything out in June 1984 after he was arrested at Orgreave.
He recalls being taken to Rotherham Police Station and put in a compound where “people were coming in with all sorts of injuries”.
It was not until 14 months later that he was finally able to celebrate his innocence being declared, only finding out the miners had been cleared when he saw a TV clip of a group walking free from court.
“Gareth Pierce (a campaigning lawyer who represented the miners) sent me a letter, but I was on holiday in Rhyl so while they all went out and got drunk, I had a quiet drink by myself,” said the granddad, who now lives in Mexborough.
He said he never received any compensation, although he wishes now that he had pursued it, adding: “To be honest, most of us were just glad to be out of it.”
After the pits closed, Kevin, a loyal Millers season ticket holder, worked as a carer for NHS in Doncaster and Care UK, before retiring a year ago.
But even more than 30 years on from the Battle of Orgreave, his thirst for justice remains.
“When I was a miner, I went to university on a day release course and for years you told everyone the same story and they just got fed up with you,” he said.
“I’m 67 now and I want to be able to say: ‘I told you so’.”