96 football fans unlawfully killed in England, jury rule

By Daily Sports on April 26, 2016

Views: 1,842

Ninety-six football fans who died as a result of a crush in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, the inquests have concluded.

The jury decided the match commander Ch Supt David Duckenfield's actions amounted to "gross negligence" due to a breach of his duty of care to fans.

Police errors also added to a dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final.

After a 27-year campaign by victims' families, the behaviour of Liverpool fans was exonerated.

The jury found they did not contribute to the danger unfolding at the turnstiles at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's ground on 15 April 1989.

When the conclusion of the unlawful killing was revealed, families were seen hugging each other in the public gallery and some punched the air.

When considering how each of the 96 victims died the jury concluded many died well after 15:15 on the day of the match.

The coroner at the original inquest, Dr Stefan Popper, said he would not hear any evidence relating to deaths beyond that time because he believed all the victims had died, or suffered fatal injuries, by then.

The jury also concluded

*Police errors caused a dangerous situation at the turnstiles

*Failures by commanding officers caused a crush on the terraces

*There were mistakes in the police control box over the order to open the Leppings Lane end   exit gates

*Defects at the stadium contributed to the disaster

*There was an error in the safety certification of the Hillsborough stadium

*South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Ambulance Service delayed declaring a major incident

*The emergency response was therefore delayed

*Sheffield Wednesday failed to approve the plans for dedicated turnstiles for each pen

*There was inadequate signage at the club and misleading information on match tickets

*Club officials should have requested a delay in kick off as they were aware of a huge number of fans outside shortly before the game was due to start

People in the public gallery applauded the jury as they left court, with some standing up to clap them out.

The families clapped as the jury left the Hillsborough inquests in Warrington. One woman shouted "God bless the jury."

There were lots of tears as lawyers hugged the families and the shadow home secretary Andy Burnham hugged the families in court.

There were lawyers crying, Andy Burnham was crying and the families were hugging. People said they couldn't take in the enormity of it all.

Trevor Hicks, whose daughters Sarah and Vicky died, told me: "We've done it."

A spontaneous chorus of "You'll Never Walk Alone" was sung outside the courtroom as people raised Liverpool flags above their heads.

Leading campaigners Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks were seen hugging each other in tears.

A statement on behalf of the families said the jury's conclusions "completely vindicate" the long fight for justice.

It added it has brought "significant progress on the journey... and sense of closure to the bereaved".

The police response to the increasing crowd outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles at Liverpool's match against Nottingham Forest was "slow and uncoordinated", the inquests heard.

The road closure "exacerbated" the situation and there were no filter cordons in place to regulate the movement of spectators.

Attempts to close the perimeter gates were made too late and there were no contingency plans for the "sudden arrival" of a large number of fans, the jury said.

Jurors concluded the commanding officers should have ordered the closing of the tunnel which led directly to the central pens where the fatal crush occurred.

•Photo shows a relative holds up a photo of Keith McGrath, who died in the Hillsborough disaster, outside the Hillsborough Inquest in Warrington.

Source Daily Sports

Posted April 26, 2016


 

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