Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield to be retried for manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans

Former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent denied allegations he caused victims’ deaths

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Tuesday 25 June 2019 11:37
David Duckenfield arrives at Preston Crown Court for Hillsborough trial

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield is to be retried on charges of gross negligence manslaughter, a judge has ruled.

A jury was unable to reach a verdict on allegations that his actions led to the deaths of 95 Liverpool fans at a trial held at Preston Crown Court earlier this year.

Sitting at the same court, Sir Peter Openshaw ruled on Tuesday that he must face a retrial.

“I authorise a retrial of defendant David Duckenfield,” he told the hearing, which was attended by victims’ relatives.

The 74-year-old denied the charges but the Crown Prosecution Service sought a retrial after a jury was discharged in April following a 10-week trial.

The application was resisted by lawyers for Mr Duckenfield, a retired South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent.

The retrial is expected to start on 7 October.

Ninety-six men, women and children died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terrace at the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989.

There can be no prosecution over the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, under the law at the time as he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

The crush unfolded the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, which had been chosen as a neutral venue to host the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Graham Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday’s club secretary at the time of the disaster, was fined £6,500 after being convicted of health and safety failings.

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