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Police chief in command during Hillsborough stadium disaster to face retrial

96 people were killed during a crush at an FA Cup match at the stadium in 1989.

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield will face a retrial in October.
Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield will face a retrial in October.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

A BRITISH COURT has ruled that the police officer overseeing security during the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster should face a retrial.

Match commander David Duckenfield escaped penalty earlier this year when a jury failed to reach a verdict following a 10-week trial.

The 74-year-old’s representatives had opposed an application for a retrial on gross negligence manslaughter charges.

But Judge Peter Openshaw ordered the retrial to begin on 7 October at Preston Crown Court near Liverpool.

“I authorise a retrial of defendant David Duckenfield,” he said.

Duckenfield stands accused of being responsible for 95 of the 96 deaths at the stadium.

The last victim died more than a year after the disaster and cannot be legally linked to the case.

The crush of people at the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest remains one of the worst sporting disasters in British history.

It led to years of anger and frustration expressed by relatives and fans alike at an alleged police cover-up and slow prosecution of the case that followed.

Victims’ families fought a long campaign for events surrounding the disaster to be re-investigated and the Crown Prosecution Service decided to press charges in June 2017.

The only person convicted in the case was ordered in May to pay a fine of £6,500 (€7,300).

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service alleged during the April hearing that Duckenfield had the “ultimate responsibility” for allowing the crush to occur.

But the defence argued the case was “breathtakingly unfair” and said the defendant had “tried to do the right thing”.

The trial came after almost two decades of campaigning by victims’ families, who fought for events surrounding the disaster to be re-investigated, with the CPS announcing a decision to press charges against the two men in June 2017.

With reporting from - © AFP 2019Comments have been closed for legal reasons.

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