David Duckenfield found not guilty of manslaughter in deaths of 95 football fans in Hillsborough disaster
Duckenfield has been the match commander when a beat in the FA Cup semifinal link between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest resulted in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.
After hearing over six weeks of evidence, verdict was returned by the jury of seven women and 3 men after nearly 14 hours of deliberation at Preston Crown Court .
This was the next time Duckenfield has faced trial . A jury couldn’t achieve a verdict before in 2019.
Jenni Hicks, who lost two teenaged daughters in the tragedy, told colleagues at Preston:”We have got to live with understanding that our loved ones, each of the households’ loved ones were killed, and we’ve currently got to live with nicely… Who is accountable for the deaths afterward?”
Louise Brookes, who lost her brother,” said she felt”very disappointed ”
“I’m ashamed to be British, so I am ashamed of the nation and things have to obtained change I do not need any family to ever go through what us Hillsborough families have had to go through for nearly 31 years. This nation is really a disgrace and things’ve to change,” she told reporters.
Duckenfield, who had been a superintendent together by South Yorkshire Police in April 1989, was not charged in the death of the 96th supporter.
Because prosecution was avoided by laws at the time above a death more than 366 days after injuries were sustained, that is.
Duckenfield’s attorney Ian Lewis said in a statement after the verdict Thursday:”David is, of course, relieved the jury has found him not guilty, however his thoughts and sympathies remain with the families of those who lost their loved ones. He knows the public interest in this instance, but could ask that his privacy and that of his family is admired, and will not be commenting further”
At a press conference in the Cunard Building at Liverpool, Margaret Aspinall, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said:”I blame a system that’s so morally wrong in this country, that’s a disgrace to this country.
“When 96 people, they say 95, we say 96, are killed and yet not one individual is answerable. The question I’d like to ask all of you and people inside the machine is that put 96 people in their graves, who is accountable?”
Even the mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said of the bereaved families,”the whole city shares their distress .”
During the trial, the prosecution saw former secretary of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, Graham Mackrell, guilty of breaching his safety obligation on a charge.
Mackrell, that was a security officer for the club’s Hillsborough floor at the right time of this disaster, has been fined #6,500 (roughly $8,300).
There have been a number of inquiries in the Hillsborough disaster, such as the 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel Report, the 1990 Taylor Report and also the 2016 Hillsborough Inquest.
In an announcement Thursday, Sue Hemming, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said:”The disaster at Hillsborough 30 years ago has caused unimaginable suffering to the families of people who unfortunately lost their own lives and to everybody affected by the tragic events of that day.
“They were let down with the most catastrophic consequences possible. I understand how significant these event have been to everyone, though they came far too late.”
Hemming said the situation had proved”complicated and gruesome,” adding she comprehended that the families could be disappointed with the verdict.
“We’re acutely aware of how disappointing that the verdict is for families that have waited anxiously for now, however we honor the decision of the jury,” she explained.
“We have remained in contact with families throughout the trial and, like we have done at all crucial stages of these investigations, we’ll meet together again to answer some questions they might have.