A child of "average intelligence" could have realised the consequences of opening a gate which led to the Hillsborough football tragedy, the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans heard.

The 1989 FA Cup semi-final match commander David Duckenfield denied he "bottled it" and "simply froze" before he ordered the opening of an exit gate to relieve congestion outside the Leppings Lane turnstile.

Up to 2,000 fans entered Gate C, with many heading straight for a tunnel in front of them which Mr Duckenfield had not ordered to be closed and then on to the already full central pens on the terrace which led to the fatal crushing.

Mr Duckenfield claims he was unaware of the geography of Sheffield Wednesday's ground, this being his first match in charge.

Paul Greaney QC, representing the Police Federation, put it the retired police chief: "Do you agree that never mind a competent match commander it might only take a child of average intelligence to realise what the consequences of your actions might be?"

Mr Duckenfield, giving evidence for a sixth day at the Warrington inquests, replied: "I did not think of it on the day, sir, because of the pressure I was under."

Mr Greaney asked: "Is the explanation of your failures Mr Duckenfield not that you were ignorant of the geography for example but rather that you knew the geography, you knew what the consequences might be of people entering the crowd but you simply froze?"

The witness replied: "I am not in a position to make that judgment, sir.

Others should make that judgment."

Mr Greaney continued: "You bottled it. You panicked and you failed to take the action that you knew needed to be taken to avoid consequences that you had foreseen. Now does that describe your state at the time?"

Mr Duckenfield said: "I disagree with you sir."

"Why?" asked Mr Greaney.

Mr Duckenfield said: "Because that's my view."

The barrister said: "Why is it your view?"

Mr Duckenfield said: "Because it is my view and there can be no other view than mine."

Mr Greaney said: "Do you accept that might thought to be a rather arrogant thing to say?"

The witness replied: "Sir I apologise. If that appears arrogant I didn't mean that to be so."