THE Hillsborough stadium did not have enough turnstiles for fans entering the terraces on the day of the disaster, a stadium safety expert has told a court.

Structural engineer John Cutlack gave evidence on Monday at the trial of match commander David Duckenfield, who is charged with gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans, and former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, who is charged with health and safety offences.

Preston Crown Court heard there were seven turnstiles available for the 10,100 fans with tickets for the west terraces, where the fatal crush happened at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

Mr Cutlack said: "I don't believe there were sufficient turnstiles for the North Stand or for the West Terrace."

The jury was told the Green Guide, which set out recommendations for stadium design, stated a ground should have enough turnstiles to get all fans into the ground at a maximum rate of 750 people per turnstile, per hour.

Mr Cutlack said: "In my experience, that was interpreted, by designers particularly, to mean that it was expected that the turnstiles would need to be of sufficient numbers that everybody could get into the ground in an hour."

But, he said for all of the fans to get into the Leppings Lane terraces the turnstiles would have needed to admit 1,443 people per hour.

The court was told the figure was about 30% higher than at the FA Cup semi-final in 1988, when the arrangement was different and turnstiles for the terraces would have needed to admit 1,120 fans per hour.

Mr Cutlack said he estimated there were between 1,296 and 1,430 spectators in pen three of the West Terrace three minutes after the 1989 match kicked off - but he said the safe capacity was 678.

The court heard that many of the crush barriers in pens three and four of the terrace, including all of the barriers which collapsed or were deformed in the crush, were about 60 years old.

"We know they were about 60 years old because after the disaster somebody, I think from the Health and Safety Executive, found a rolled-up newspaper inside one of the top rails which dated back to 1931," Mr Cutlack said.

He told the court the layout of the ground meant there was a bottleneck outside the Leppings Lane end where a "large number of people would need to enter through quite a restricted space".

The court was told exit gate C was opened, allowing fans from the crowd outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles to enter the ground, at 2.48pm and again at 2.52pm.

Mr Cutlack confirmed work done by the Health and Safety Executive in 1989 had shown between 2,150 and 2,380 fans entered the stadium through the gate during those two openings.

Former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Duckenfield, 74, denies causing the deaths of 95 men, women and children at the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.

Twelve of those who lost their lives in the disaster were from Wirral and Ellesmere Port.

Mackrell, 69, who was the club's safety officer, denies breaching a condition of the ground's safety certificate and failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety Act.

The court was adjourned until Tuesday.