Hillsborough disaster: David Duckenfield’s trial due to begin

Graham Mackrell and David DuckenfieldImage copyright

Image caption

Graham Mackrell (left) and David Duckenfield are due to stand trial at the same time

The manslaughter trial of the police officer in command during the Hillsborough disaster will begin later.

Former Ch Supt David Duckenfield has pleaded not guilty to the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters.

Mr Duckenfield, who was match commander during the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989, is due to appear at Preston Crown Court.

Family members of those who died are also expected to attend the hearing.

Mr Duckenfield, of Ferndown in Dorset, was charged in relation to the deaths of 95 people who were in the crowd at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground for the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution relating to the death of a 96th person, Tony Bland, because he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell will also face trial, having pleaded not guilty to contravening a term or condition of the stadium’s safety certificate and one health and safety offence.

Mr Mackrell was the club’s designated safety officer for the Hillsborough stadium.

It is the first time a prosecution has been brought under the 1975 Safety of Sports Grounds Act.

The trial of the two men is expected to run for several months.

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The 96 people who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster

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