Hills­bor­ough game com­man­der to face trial early next year

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

THE match com­man­der who over­saw the Hills­bor­ough dis­as­ter will face trial, ac­cused of 95 charges of man­slaugh­ter by gross neg­li­gence.

A high court judge lifted a le­gal re­stric­tion on David Duck­en­field, 73, be­ing charged, mean­ing that he can now face trial.

Five peo­ple from Hal­ton were killed dur­ing the FA Cup semi-fi­nal clash be­tween Liver­pool and Not­ting­ham For­est at the dis­as­ter on April 15, 1989.

Fa­ther and son Tommy Howard, 39, and Tommy Howard ju­nior, 14, Kevin Tyrrell, 15, and Adam Spear­ritt, 14, were all from Run­corn and lost their lives on that tragic af­ter­noon.

Peter Thomp­son, 30, from Widnes, was the other Hal­ton fa­tal­ity.

A his­tor­i­cal ‘stay’ was put in place in 2000 af­ter a pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion failed to reach a ver­dict.

But High Court judge Sir Peter Open­shaw lifted the stay at Pre­ston Crown Court on Fri­day, June 29, paving the way for Duck­en­field to go on trial in Jan­uary.

He will only stand trial for 95 counts of man­slaugh­ter as the 96th vic­tim of the tragedy, Tony Bland, died be­yond a year and a day af­ter he was in­jured.

Four other de­fen­dants are also set to stand trial for their part in the dis­as­ter.

Gra­ham Mack­rell, 68, Sh­effield Wed­nes­day Foot­ball Club’s sec­re­tary at the time, will face two charges, one re­gard­ing the sta­dium’s safety cer­tifi­cate and the other an al­leged health and safety of­fence.

The three other de­fen­dants are for­mer po­lice of­fi­cers Don­ald Den­ton, 80, and Alan Foster, 71, and Peter Met­calf, 68, a re­tired solic­i­tor who acted for South York­shire Po­lice fol­low­ing the dis­as­ter.

The three will each face two charges of com­mit­ting acts tend­ing and in­tended to per­vert the course of jus­tice re­lat­ing to al­leged amend­ments made to po­lice of­fi­cers’ state­ments in the af­ter­math.

Their trial is ex­pected to take place in Jan­uary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.