SOCIAL media users are being warned of the dangers of legal action because of contempt of court issues as the Hillsborough inquest moves into a new phase.

The inquests, being held in Birchwood, have resumed to hear evidence about the circumstances of the incident.

Nama Zarroug, head of the criminal department at Kirwans law firm, believes it is the public’s biggest ever test in terms of showing restraint with online postings.

She said: “Hillsborough understandably stirs emotions and often our default is to take to Twitter or Facebook to sound off. My advice to anyone in any doubt about the law is: don’t risk it, don’t post it.

“The early stages of the inquests have been uncontentious - evidence has been factual, restricted to pen portraits of the 96 deceased, quite properly setting the scene for the jury. Now we are entering a phase when examination of evidence will be rigorous as the forensic search for the truth begins.”

Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC and coroner Lord Justice Goldring have both flagged up that people using Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums should take care with their comments and those making incorrect prejudicial comments face prosecution under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.