Anguish of Hillsborough families continues
Sarah and Vicki were among the 95 Liverpool Lovers killed after Having a Beat at the FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough stadium.
A 96th person, Tony Bland, died in 1993 of injuries.
On Thursday, Vicki’s grief-stricken mum and Sarah found it difficult to hold back her emotions after police superintendent David Duckenfield was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter in the deaths of 93 supporters and Vicki and Sarah.
“Whenever we’ve had disappointments in the past we have always had someplace else to go,” said Jenni Hicks.
“Today we haven’t, we have nowhere else to accept this. That is it — we are gonna need to live the remainder of our lives with this injustice.”
At a media conference at the Cunard Building in Liverpool on Thursday,” Margaret Aspinall, seat of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said:”I blame a system that’s so morally wrong within this country, that’s a disgrace to the country.
“When 96 people, they say 95, we say 96, are unlawfully killed and not 1 individual is accountable. The matter I’d like to ask all of you and people inside the machine is who put 96 individuals in their graves, who’s responsible?”
READ: David Duckenfield found not guilty of manslaughter
READ: Liverpool marks 30 year because Hillsborough tragedy
Duckenfield, now 75, has been the match commander on the day of this game and the not guilty verdict was returned by a jury after almost 14 hours of deliberation, after hearing more than six weeks of evidence.
Duckenfield’s solicitor, Ian Lewis, said the former superintendent had been”relieved” to have been found not guilty by the prosecution.
“However, his thoughts and sympathies remain with the families of those who lost their loved ones,” he said in statement. “He understands the public attention in this scenario, but would ask his privacy and the household is respected, and won’t be commenting further”
Duckenfield was not charged in Tony Bland’s departure.
This is the next time Duckenfield has faced trial within the disaster, which happened on April 15, 1989 at the Hillsborough floor of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. There was A jury unable to achieve in 2019.
Liverpool Football Club, that has provided continuous support to their families of their victims and their 30-year struggle for justice, said it shares their”responses and frustrations” following the verdict.
“Liverpool Football Club want to commend the family members, survivors and campaigners for the impressive courage, faith and resilience they have demonstrated during the previous few decades,” the team said in a statement.
“We also reiterate the inquests at April 2016 concluded that the behavior of Liverpool fans didn’t cause or contribute to the Hillsborough disaster. We were disappointed that the allegations were increased again in this procedure.
“We now have enormous respect for the Hillsborough families, survivors and campaigners for what they’ve attained and our thoughts remain together and those 96 Liverpool fans who proceeded on to watch their team and never came home.”
The Liverpool Echo, the town’s local newspaper, according to Friday:”Not guilty… however, the ghosts of the 96 will constantly haunt Duckenfield.”
There have been a number of queries in the Hillsborough disaster, including the 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel Report the 1990 Taylor Report and the 2016 Hillsborough Inquest.
The jury findings in the 2016 Hillsborough inquest contained:
— The 96 Liverpool fans who perished in the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, jurors concluded by a 7-2 majority.
— Duckenfield’s actions amounted to”gross neglect” due to breach of the duty of care to fans.
— the dangerous situation that developed on the day of the catastrophe was caused or contributed to by Police planning mistakes.
— The 96 sufferers were murdered due to crushing following the entrance of a high number of enthusiasts via an exit gate.
— Fan behavior didn’t cause or add to the tragedy.
Referring to the 2016 inquest’s findings, Guardian journalist David Conn, who’s followed the Hillsborough disaster said the verdict of Thursday raised concerns.
“The gap in the heart of these proceedings, the query concerning the British legal system looming over every miserable day for those households, was why it allows and demands this: based truths, decided by a jury on comprehensive evidence given on oath before a senior judge, up and erased for grabs again.
“They were at the control of the legal institution, watching a stripped-down framing of a second brand fresh set of truths, like nothing had been decided or acknowledged before, in 30 years.”
Only 1 person was found guilty of any offense about the Hillsborough tragedy.
During the trial, the jury saw former secretary of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, Graham Mackrell, accountable of breaching his security obligation, on a charge.
Mackrell, who was a safety officer for the club’s Hillsborough ground at the time of this crisis, was fined #6,500 (about $8,300).