Crown Prosecution Service charge six men over Hillsborough Disaster

Former South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and five others are facing criminal charges

Criminal charges have been brought against six individuals, including former senior police officers, over the Hillsborough disaster.

Former South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and five others are facing criminal charges.

A total of 96 Liverpool fans died after a crush at the Sheffield Wednesday stadium in 1989.

Duckenfield has been charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 of the 96 Liverpool FC fans who died at the FA Cup semi-final.

"Following our careful review of the evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences," said Sue Hemming, the CPS Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division.

"Criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Charges have been authorised against:

  • David Duckenfield: Match Commander for South Yorkshire Police on the day of the disaster.
  • Graham Henry Mackrell: Sheffield Wednesday Football Club's company secretary and safety officer at the time of the disaster in 1989.
  • Peter Metcalf: Solicitor acting for the South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor Inquiry and the first inquests Former Chief Superintendent.
  • Donald Denton: Former chief superintendent of South Yorkshire Police.
  • Alan Foster: Former detective chief inspector of South Yorkshire Police.
  • Norman Bettison: Former officer with South Yorkshire Police and subsequently Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police.

Bettison is accused of four counts of misconduct in public office.

Denton, Foster and Metcalf are all charged with doing acts with intent to pervert the course of justice.

Mackrell is charged with three offences relating to health and safety and safety at sports grounds.

Barry Devonside, whose son Christopher, 18, was killed in the disaster, pumped his fist as he emerged from the meeting with the lawyers and other relatives of the 96 victims.

He said: "Everybody applauded when it was announced that the most senior police officer on that particular day will have charges presented to him."

Sky's Mike McCarthy was at Hillsborough during the 1989 disaster and was with victims' families when they were told the news that charges would be brought.

He said: "This is without doubt a critical decision, a crucial decision in their long campaign. It isn't, of course, the end of the road. Prosecutions are one thing, what the families will be looking for are successful prosecutions."

"In a way we're pressing the reset button. We're going back 28 years to that day - 15 April 1989 - and we're starting afresh as far as families are concerned."

Announcing the charges, Ms. Hemming, the Crown Prosecution Service Head of Special Crime and CT Division said: "The suspects referred to the CPS included individuals and organisations.

"Following these thorough investigations and our careful review of the evidence in accordance with the code for Crown prosecutors I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) passed files of evidence relating to 23 suspects to prosecutors earlier this year.

In the Summary of Decisions delivered today to the CPS, Ms. Hemming said the investigation "considered two substantial files of evidence from Operation Resolve (OR) and the IPCC".

With additional reporting from IRN

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