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Hillsborough inquest jury finds 96 victims were unlawfully killed

An inquest has concluded that the 96 football fans who lost their lives at the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster were unlawfully killed.

The families of the victims following the inquest hearing. Image credit: ©Joel Goodman/LNP/REX/Shutterstock
The families of the victims following the inquest hearing. Image credit: ©Joel Goodman/LNP/REX/Shutterstock
Jurors have concluded that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed. | Image credit: ©Ian Hodgson / Associated Newspapers/REX/Shutterstock
Jurors have concluded that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed. | Image credit: ©Ian Hodgson / Associated Newspapers/REX/Shutterstock

Liverpool FC fans were crushed on a terrace during an FA cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground on 15 April 1989.

Overcrowding in the enclosures that subdivided the stadium’s Leppings Lane terrace was compounded by failure to restrict entry into the pens after spectators began to be crushed.

The nine person jury had been deliberating since 6 April at the Coroner’s Court at Birchwood Park, after listening to evidence for two years - making the inquest the longest running in British legal history. They had been given 14 questions to decide how the 96 people died. 

Question 6 related to unlawful killing and to the role of chief superintendent David Duckenfield, who was in charge of police operation on the day.

The jurors concluded that chief superintendent Duckenfield failed in his duty of care to the victims, and it was this breach of duty which caused their deaths, as a result of his gross negligence.

An inquiry by Lord Taylor of Gosforth immediately after the incident, which took evidence from 174 witnesses, criticised Duckenfield’s decisions on the day of the incident when he had refused to postpone the start of the match as overcrowding became hazardous at the Leppings Lane end. Lord Taylor found the police were more concerned with preventing crowd trouble than spectator safety.

Nevertheless, the original inquest in 1991 returned a verdict of accidental death. In August 1990 the director of public prosecutions had decided against bringing criminal charges, and in January 1992 the Police Complaints Authority opted not to bring disciplinary action after Duckenfield’s early retirement.

 

Comments

  • Why has it taken so long for

    Permalink Submitted by Mr Anon on 27 April 2016 - 12:43 pm

    Why has it taken so long for the families to get justice this case must have been deliberately delayed by West Yorkshire Police. No doubt Mr Duckenfield has a nice big pension to live off. Hopefully he will be facing a jail sentence soon along with other senior officers who have perverted the course of justice.

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  • After long last the relatives

    Permalink Submitted by Chris Webber on 27 April 2016 - 01:27 pm

    After long last the relatives can now find closure. It's incredible that in this day and age the psychological stress was strung out for so long.

    We all agree and accept that the verdict cannot bring back the loved ones. Its now up to the CPS to make the right decision on further proceedings.

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  • It was delayed because it was

    Permalink Submitted by Terry Cecil on 27 April 2016 - 04:10 pm

    It was delayed because it was obvious to everyone that politicians, certain media outlets and the police lied. Now most of these people are either dead or in retirement and have had a nice life for the last 27 years. Procecutions must follow and fast.

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  • I was there that day.

    Permalink Submitted by Peter Furlong on 27 April 2016 - 07:05 pm

    I was there that day.
    Justice for the 96.
    So glad to see this now gets a mention in Health and Safety studying

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  • The stadium didn't meet the

    Permalink Submitted by Julian on 29 April 2016 - 05:29 pm

    The stadium didn't meet the standards expected in 1989, glad to hear that prosecutions under HSAW Act against the FA and Sheffield Wednesday are now at last being considered. I stood on that terrace in the mid 80s as visiting supporter. Absolute horrible terrace.

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