Top cop’s fail­ures ‘led to deaths of 96’ court told

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

MATCH com­man­der David Duck­en­field’s “ex­traor­di­nar­ily bad” fail­ures led to the deaths of 96 fans at Hills­bor­ough, a court has heard.

The ex-po­lice­man did not quickly take measures to free Liver­pool sup­port­ers trapped in the fa­tal crush at the 1989 FA Cup semi-fi­nal, ju­rors were told.

Pros­e­cu­tors said his ac­tions “con­tributed sub­stan­tially” to the loss of life.

Mr Duck­en­field ( be­low), 74, de­nies the gross neg­li­gence man­slaugh­ter of 95 fans. Ex-Sh­effield Wed­nes­day club sec­re­tary Gra­ham Mack­rell, 69, who is on trial along­side the former South York­shire Po­lice Ch Supt, de­nies safety breaches.

At Pre­ston Crown Court, pros­e­cu­tor Richard Matthews QC de­scribed the build-up to the game be­tween Liver­pool and Not­ting­ham For­est, say­ing pres­sure to get through the turn­stiles “al­most in­evitably” built up out­side the sta­dium be­fore kick-off.

But he said: “David Duck­en­field gave no thought to the in­evitable con­se­quence of the flood of peo­ple. Nor did he make any at­tempt to even mon­i­tor what was oc­cur­ring, let alone avert tragedy”.

He told ju­rors Mr Duck­en­field would have had “ul­ti­mate re­spon­si­bil­ity” for the po­lice oper­a­tion, but as the dis­as­ter un­folded he failed to quickly en­act emer­gency measures.

The trial con­tin­ues.

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