Hillsborough police chief could face retrial, Sheffield Wednesday club secretary guilty

Hillsborough Justice

April 4 – The jury in the trial of the police chief facing allegations related to the 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy has been unable to reach a verdict with the prosecution now calling for a retrial.

Now retired chief superintendent David Duckenfield was on trial on a criminal charge of the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans in the disaster almost exactly 30 years after the infamous FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground.

During the 10-week trial, jurors heard that 96 men, women and children died as a result of a fatal crush on 15 April 1989. Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.

The jury deliberated for more than 29 hours but was unable to agree whether Duckenfield was guilty or not guilty.

But the jury delivered a guilty verdict by a majority of 10-2 on a charge against Graham Mackrell, the former Sheffield Wednesday secretary and safety officer at the time of the disaster.

He had been accused of failing to take reasonable care to ensure there were enough turnstiles to prevent large crowds building up. The court heard there were seven turnstiles for the 10,100 Liverpool fans with standing tickets for the match against Nottingham Forest.

Mackrell did not give evidence and is due to be sentenced on May 13.

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