Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Hillsborough: Criminal charges against six people

Match commander David Duckenfield and former chief constable Norman Bettison are among those being prosecuted over the disaster.

Criminal charges have been brought against six individuals, including former senior police officers, over the Hillsborough disaster.
They are:

:: David Duckenfield, who was the South Yorkshire Police match commander on the day of the disaster
:: Sir Norman Bettison, a former South Yorkshire Police chief inspector and superintendent
:: Graham Henry Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday Football Club's company secretary and safety officer at the time of the disaster
:: Peter Metcalf, a solicitor who acted for the South Yorkshire Police
:: Donald Denton, a former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent
:: Alan Foster, a former South Yorkshire Police detective chief inspector

Former Chief Constable Norman Bettison and Former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield

Ninety-six men, women and children were killed in the stadium crush on 15 April 1989.

Duckenfield has been charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 of the 96 Liverpool FC fans who died at the FA Cup semi-final.

The CPS was unable to charge him for the manslaughter of the 96th victim, Anthony Bland, because he died almost four years after the disaster.

Bettison is accused of four counts of misconduct in public office.

These charges relate to telling alleged lies about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the culpability of fans, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Denton, Foster and Metcalf are charged with doing acts with intent to pervert the course of justice relating to material changes made to witness statements.

Mackrell is charged with three offences relating to health and safety and safety at sports grounds.

Barry Devonside, whose son Christopher, 18, was killed in the disaster, pumped his fist as he emerged from the meeting with the lawyers and other relatives of the 96 victims.

He said: "It was only right and proper that we fought for our loved ones... I was frightened we were going to be let down again.

"We have been smacked in the face on a number of occasions. The families have acted with the utmost of dignity."

He went on: "Everybody applauded when it was announced that the most senior police officer on that particular day will have charges presented to him."

Announcing the charges, Sue Hemming, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The suspects referred to the CPS included individuals and organisations.

"Following these thorough investigations and our careful review of the evidence in accordance with the code for Crown prosecutors I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences."

The defendants will appear at Warrington Magistrates' Court in August, with the exception of Duckenfield who will not appear at this stage for legal reasons.

SKY     News.