David Duckenfield will face a retrial over the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans at Hillsborough.
Judge Sir Peter Openshaw made the ruling at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday following a hearing on Monday.
A 10-week trial in April ended with the jury being discharged after failing to reach a verdict, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) sought a retrial.
Lawyers of the 74-year-old retired chief superintendent resisted the application.
The judge said: “I authorise a retrial of defendant David Duckenfield.”
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96 men, women and children died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terrace at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Under the law at the time, Duckenfield, who was the match commander at Hillsborough, was not charged over the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.
About 10 family members were in court to hear the judge’s ruling along with a dozen members of the press.
The retrial is expected to take place on October 7.
Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield is facing a retrial after a jury were unable to agree whether he was guilty or not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.
The six men and six women found former Sheffield Wednesday secretary Graham Mackrell, 69, guilty of failing to discharge his duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act, but they were unable to reach a verdict on Duckenfield.
Jurors were discharged on Wednesday, their eighth day of deliberations, at Preston Crown Court. The CPS has indicated it will seek a retrial for Duckenfield.
About 60 family members gathered at the Cunard building in Liverpool gasped as the jury foreman told the court they could not reach a verdict for Duckenfield on which they were all agreed.
There were cheers as the guilty verdict for Mackrell was announced.
The jury retired to consider their verdicts on Monday, March 25, after a 10 week trial and after a week of deliberations were given a majority direction, meaning verdicts on which at least 10 of them agreed would be accepted.
They had deliberated for 29 hours and six minutes.
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Retired chief superintendent Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.
The prosecution in the case had alleged Duckenfield, 74, had the “ultimate responsibility” at the ground for the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.
Under the law at the time he was not charged over the death of the 96th victim Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.
The court heard he ordered the opening of exit gates at the Leppings Lane end of the ground at 2.52pm, eight minutes before kick off, after the area outside the turnstiles became dangerously overcrowded.
More than 2,000 fans entered through exit gate C once it was opened and many headed for the tunnel ahead of them, which led to the central pens where the crush happened.
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Richard Matthews QC, prosecuting, told the court in his closing speech that Duckenfield, who was promoted to the role less than three weeks before the match, should have had the knowledge to make “key lifesaving decisions” on the day.
He said many of the failures alleged by the prosecution had been admitted by Duckenfield when he gave evidence at inquests Into the 96 deaths in Warrington in 2015.
Benjamin Myers QC, defending Duckenfield, told the jury those comments were made with the benefit of hindsight and some of the questioning did not take into account his memory of the day.
He argued the case was “breathtakingly unfair” and said Duckenfield had “tried to do the right thing”.
Duckenfield’s defence case lasted just 74 minutes and consisted of read evidence from Bernard Murray, the late superintendent who worked as ground commander and Duckenfield’s deputy on the day.
Mackrell, who was safety officer for the club at the time, was accused of failing to take reasonable care particularly in respect of ensuring there were enough turnstiles to prevent unduly large crowds building up.
The court heard there were seven turnstiles for the 10,100 Liverpool fans with standing tickets.
Mackrell did not give evidence either but Jason Beer QC, defending him, argued the build up outside was caused by other factors, including a lack of police cordons and the unusual arrival pattern of fans.
The case was adjourned at Preston Crown Court until 2pm.
A Liverpool supporter tried to give the kiss of life to a boy on the Leppings Lane terrace at Hillsborough as they were both being crushed, a court has heard.
In a statement read to the jury, Michael Moran said: “There was a boy who looked like he was asleep even thought he was standing up. I tried to give him the kiss of life.”
96 Liverpool fans were killed as a result of the congestion. Police Match Commander David Duckenfield denies gross negligence manslaughter.
In his account Mr Moran says he thought he was going to die in the pen, but when a girl next to him became hysterical “I slapped her across the face and told her we would get out of this.”
After becoming unconscious he came to his senses to find he was lying on the pitch: “There was mayhem all around. It was like a battlefield. There was pandemonium.”
Chelsea supporter Geoffrey Moody who was also in the crush described how a boy was trampled on but “nobody could do a thing about it”.
In his statement he said: “I had just given up. I had fought for my life. I was convinced I was going to die.”
The deceased’s final movements were shown to the jury whilst some family members were in court to watch the CCTV footage.
Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham and Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram attended Preston Crown Court to offer them support.
Extracts from David Duckenfield’s testimony in 2015 to the new inquests into the 96 deaths was read out, in which he admits “probably I wasn’t the best man for the job on the day.”
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Elsewhere in his answers Mr Duckenfield said: “With hindsight – I should have thought about my limited knowledge of the role of a commander in a major event that was an all-ticket sellout, when I had not been responsible, or in that responsible position, previously.”
Looking back he admitted it was a “serious mistake” to take on the role when his knowledge of the Hillsborough stadium “wasn’t an intimate knowledge, and in the short time available, it couldn’t possible be.”
Mr Duckenfield was promoted to Chief Superintendent at South Yorkshire Police on 27 March 1989. The FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was scheduled for 15 April.
Despite this, Mr Duckenfield told the inquests that at the time he was confident and with the help of experienced colleagues “it did not cross my mind that the semi-final was something that I couldn’t deal with”.
Both the police and the fire service had declared Hillsborough safe before the disaster that killed 96 Liverpool supporters, a court has heard.
Match commander David Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 fans.
Graham Mackrell, the Sheffield Wednesday club secretary, denies breaching safety regulations prior to the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Regarding the 1975 Safety at Sports Grounds Act, the jury was shown a South Yorkshire Police letter, dated 1986, confirming ‘Hillsborough meets the criteria set out in the above Act’.
The fire service confirmed it did not have a problem with the stadium either, Preston Crown Court heard.
In 1987, Sheffield Wednesday suggested to its structural engineering consultants the capacity of the Leppings Lane terrace should be reduced from 10,000, but the club were instructed to keep it as it was.
The jury was told this helps to place Mr Mackrell’s role in planning for the 1989 match in context.
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A Football Association report from 1987 described Hillsborough as ‘exceptionally well maintained’ with a layout of ‘high order’.
Later the jury heard from witness James Chumley; a Tottenham fan, Mr Chumley attended the 1981 FA Cup semi-final between Spurs and Wolves at Hillsborough during which a crush occurred in the Leppings Lane pens.
He described how police officers outside the ground refused him and around 100 others entry to the terrace, being told he was in the ‘worst end’ and that the situation was always the same at big games.
The trial previously viewed footage from said match, showing Tottenham supporters climbing out of the pens to escape the crush.
South Yorkshire Police afterwards wrote to Sheffield Wednesday insisting the actions of officers who helped them were ‘vital’ to save lives, and the police and the club should be able to improve crowd control in future.
Hillsborough’s 96th victim, Tony Bland, is not included on the indictment against Mr Duckenfield because he died more than a year and a day after sustaining his injuries.
Potential jurors in the trial of the Hillsborough match commander have been asked to declare if they support Liverpool, Everton, Nottingham Forest or Sheffield Wednesday.
Those who do have been deemed partial and won’t be invited to serve as former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, 74, defends himself from charges of gross negligence manslaughter.
He is accused of failing to carry out his duty to protect supporters at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Mr Duckenfield had been recently promoted by South Yorkshire Police prior to the match.
Any potential juror with a connection to the police force will also be unable to serve on the trial, which is the first criminal trial to take place in relation to the disaster.
Some family members of Hillsborough victims were at Preston Crown Court as the case began.
Ruling out potential jurors took most of the day and by the end the group of 100 had been whittled down to 32.
They will return on Tuesday when the judge will select 14 and the prosecution will proceed to open its case.
Sheffield Wednesday’s Club Secretary at the time, Graham Mackrell, is on trial alongside Mr Duckenfield charged with two counts of breaching health and safety.
The 69-year-old, who was also the club’s Safety Officer, denies the charges.
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Both men were asked to stand and face the jury candidates to rule out any possibility a member of the group knew them personally.
Hillsborough’s 96th victim, Tony Bland, is not included on the indictment as his death occurred more than a year and a day after sustaining his injuries, which was the cut-off point for a manslaughter charge in 1989.
The trial is expected to last up to four months, which would see it span the 30th anniversary of the tragedy on 15 April.
Sir Norman Bettison will not be prosecuted over the alleged lies he told following the Hillsborough disaster.
The former Merseyside and West Yorkshire chief constable had been charged with four counts of misconduct in a public office, but they have now been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Sir Norman, 62, who was a chief inspector at the time of the tragedy at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989, had been due to face trial next year.
He was accused of untruthfully describing his role in the South Yorkshire Police response as “peripheral” in a comment to then chief inspector of constabulary Sir David O’Dowd, in 1998, when Sir Norman applied for the job of chief constable in Merseyside.
He was also accused of lying to Merseyside Police Authority when he said he had never attempted to shift blame for the disaster “on to the shoulders of Liverpool supporters”.
Sir Norman, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was alleged to have lied in a statement issued on September 13 2012, following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, when he said he had never offered any interpretation other than that the behaviour of Liverpool fans did not cause the disaster.
He was also accused of misconduct over a a statement released the following day in which he said he had never “besmirched” Liverpool fans.
Sir Norman was charged after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) carried out the biggest criminal investigation into alleged police misconduct ever carried out in England and Wales.
Five other men, including Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield, are due to face trial for offences related to the disaster next year.
David Duckenfield, the match commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, is to face trial for the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 football supporters.
Judge Sir Peter Openshaw ruled to lift the “stay” on prosecuting Duckenfield at Preston Crown Court on Friday after a formal application by the CPS.
About ten family members of the 96 Liverpool fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final were in Preston Crown Court, with others watching proceedings on a video link from Liverpool, as the judge made his rulings.
There were shouts of “thank you” as the judge announced Duckenfield would stand trial.
The judge ruled that four other defendants charged with matters related to the disaster and its aftermath will also face trial following abuse of process arguments, which were heard at Preston Crown Court earlier this month.
An abuse of process argument for Sir Norman Bettison, who is charged with misconduct in a public office, has been adjourned until August 21.
Duckenfield, 73, faces 95 charges of gross negligence manslaughter following the crush in the terrace pens of the Sheffield Wednesday stadium’s Leppings Lane end at the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15.
The judge said: “In respect of the defendant David Duckenfield I lift the stay.
“I confirm that I grant the voluntary bill of indictment to allow prosecution against for manslaughter to proceed. I decline to order a stay on that charge.”
Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, because he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.
The Crown Prosecution Service applied to lift a historical stay – halting further legal proceedings – on Mr Duckenfield which was put in place in 2000.
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