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April 26, 2016

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Jury returns verdict in Hillsborough inquest

Following the verdict that 96 people were unlawfully killed in the Hillsborough disaster, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is considering whether there should be any criminal charges brought against those deemed to blame.

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Updated: 11.27

Court has been adjourned.

The jury has answered yes to the crucial question about whether the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, and has also said that the behaviour of fans did not contribute to the disaster.

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Updated: 11.26

Jury answer yes to the final question 14:

After the crush in the west terrace had begun to develop, was there any error or omission by Symas which caused or contributed to the loss of lives in the disaster?

 
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Updated: 11.22

Jury answer yes to question 10 and question 11:

Was there any error or omission by Sheffield Wednesday FC (and its staff) in the management of the stadium and/or preparation for the semi-final match on 15 April, 1989 which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation that developed on the day of the match?

Was there any error or omission by Sheffield Wednesday FC (and its staff) on 15 April, 1989 which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation that developed on the day of the match?

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Updated: 11.19

Jury answer yes to question 9:

Was there any error or omission in the safety certification and oversight of Hillsborough stadium that caused or contributed to the disaster?

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Updated: 11.17

Jury answer yes to question 8:

Were there any features of the design, construction and layout of the stadium which you consider were dangerous or defective and which caused or contributed to the disaster?

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Updated: 11.16

 

In answer to question 7, whether any behaviour on the part of football supporters contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstile, the jury has said no.

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Updated: 11.14

Jury says 96 victims were unlawfully killed.

A majority verdict has been given in answer to the following question:

Are you satisfied, so that you are sure, that those who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed?

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 Updated: 11.13

Jury answer yes to question 5:

 

5. When the order was given to open the exit gates at the Leppings Lane end of the stadium, was there any error or omission by the commanding officers in the control box which caused or contributed to the crush on the terrace?

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 Updated: 11.11

Jury answer yes to question 3 and 4:

3. Was there any error or omission in policing on the day of the match which caused or contributed to a dangerous situation developing at the Leppings Lane turnstiles?

4. Was there any error or omission by commanding officers which caused or contributed to the crush on the terrace?

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Updated 11:09

Jury answer ‘yes’ to questions 1 and 2:

“Do you agree with the following statement which is intended to summarise the basic facts of the disaster: “On 15 April, 1989, 96 people died in the disaster at Hillsborough stadium as a result of crushing in the central pens of the Leppings Lane terrace, following the admission of a large number of supporters to the stadium through exit gates.”

“Was there any error or omission in the police planning and preparation for the semi-final match on 15 April, 1989 which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation that developed on the day of the match?”

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Hillsborough Inquest – the case

At 11am, a jury of six women and three men will deliver their verdict on what events led to the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans over 27 years ago at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

The jury, which has been hearing evidence for the last two years since the hearing began on 1 April 2014, must answer 14 questions to decide, among other things, whether the 96 people were unlawfully killed by gross negligence manslaughter.

The two questions that will have most focus will be:

Question 6: Are you satisfied, so that you are sure, that those who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed? Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Question 7: Was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

If your answer to the question above is ‘no’, then was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. 

If your answer to either of the questions above is ‘yes’, then was that behvaiour unusual or unforeseeable? Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

In the question of unlawful killing, the coroner, Sir John Goldring, has told the jury that they must be sure that “David Duckenfield, the match commander, was responsible for the manslaughter by gross negligence of these 96 people.”

He added: “When answering this question, we are looking at Mr Duckenfield’s conduct and his responsibility.”

Goldring has explained that the jury would consider the crucial order by Duckenfield at 2.52pm to open an exit gate and allow a large number of supporters into the Leppings Lane end, while not taking steps to close off a tunnel leading to the central pens where the lethal crush then happened.

Explaining the legal definition of gross negligence manslaughter to the jury, Goldring said they would have to be satisfied that Duckenfield owed a duty of care to the people attending the match. They would then have to be sure that he breached that duty of care by his actions or failures, including in the preparation for the match, and then that if there were such breaches, they caused the 96 deaths.

The jury has reached unanimous conclusions for 13 of the questions and a majority decision on the 14th.

This page will be updated as the verdicts come in.

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steve paul
steve paul
4 years ago

What a disgraceful decison, so now its ok for thousands of drunken fans to turn up and rush the gates to force entry. Unbelieveable.
Well the where there is blame there is a claim ambulance chasers will be in their element.

Dr Steve Waters
Dr Steve Waters
4 years ago
Reply to  steve paul

How can Steve Paul justify describing this as a disgraceful decision? My only area of mild surprise is the jury’s response to question 7 as a straight “no”. for ref; Question 7: Was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If your answer to the question above is ‘no’, then was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles? Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If your… Read more »

Bob Wallace
Bob Wallace
4 years ago

Steve Paul – did you not read or hear the reports following this decision? There was no evidence of “thousands of drunken fans turning up to rush the gates” and safety professionals should focus on evidence and not discredited reporting from the time. The facts that did bring this decision about, are the scandalous and possibly criminal perjury and lies by the police and others directly involved on the day. Lessons were not learned from previous incidents and the fact that police knew of these incidents and then tried to cover their ineptitude through lying for over 20 years is… Read more »

Safetylady
Safetylady
4 years ago

I caught my breath, and had to take time before composing this, in view of the first comment here. Either ‘steve paul’ is being deliberately and distastefully provocative, or has been locked in a very closed mind for the last (at least) 4 years since the independent inquiry in 2012. One might expect to see this type of comment in a popular newspaper forum – but not in a specialist H&S journal such as SHP where the readership is (I thought) trained, intelligent and thoughtful health and safety practitioners. Disgraceful is a term I would apply to the comment. The… Read more »

Safety McSafeface
Safety McSafeface
4 years ago

Appalling first comment.

I wonder who this really was posted by – doesnt seem viable that it was a real H&S practitioner.

On the topic of “money” then bear in mind that the police wanted to send Sheffield Wednesday a bill for “policing” the match (they didn’t but they thought about it), and Sheffield Wednesday club asked the FA for financial help as “the disaster has cost the club dearly”. This is a club with legal responsibilities which didn’t even have a safety certificate.