Sombre but significant day for families of Hillsborough victims

Criminal charges were brought against six individuals today

Hillsborough

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

There were no songs and no celebrations.

As Hillsborough family members left a private briefing about the prosecutions, one of them gently punched the air. Amid the sombre faces there were one or two smiles.

We learned later that when the Crown Prosecution Service's head of special crime Sue Hemming announced at a private briefing for victims' relatives that the Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield would be charged with manslaughter, there was applause from the substantial number of family members present.

Despite the muted public response there was no denying the significance of the day for families.

It has been a long time coming. Some have died during the 28-year campaign.

Some survivors took their own lives in the disaster's aftermath.

Children who were in the crowd on that day in April 1989 have grown up and now have children of their own.

But important though this decision is - the families know it is one more step along the way.

From day one, three words have loomed large in their campaign: truth, justice and accountability.

They believe their campaign has helped capture the truth, and following the CPS decision they feel one step closer to justice.

Accountability now lies in the hands of the courts.

Words: IRN