North East Wales

Hillsborough inquests: John McBrien's mother welcomes conclusion

John McBrien Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption John McBrien was one of 96 football fans fatally injured in a terrace crush at Hillsborough

The mother of a Welsh football fan who died as a result of a crush in the Hillsborough disaster has welcomed a conclusion he was unlawfully killed.

John McBrien, 18, from Holywell, Flintshire, and David Steven Brown, 25, from Wrexham, were two of 96 Liverpool fans who died on 15 April 1989.

An inquest jury found police errors and defects at the stadium contributed to the disaster.

Mr McBrien's mother Joan Hope said she was "very pleased" with the conclusion.

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Media captionJoan Hope said she was very pleased with the conclusion but added the last 27 years had taken its toll

After a 27-year campaign by victims' families, the behaviour of Liverpool fans was exonerated.

The jury found they did not contribute to the danger unfolding at the turnstiles at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's ground.

"I'm very pleased that it's gone that way. I didn't dare to hope for it to happen but it did happen so it's very encouraging," Mrs Hope said.

"It's not the end of the road of course, it's only the verdict of the coroner's court which is quite different to a criminal court.

"But it's a step in the right direction.

"The families have been very loyal to the cause. They've done well to stick it out, setback after setback. It must be pleasing for all the families to hear that."

Image caption The 1989 match at Sheffield Wednesday's ground was called off six minutes after kick-off

The jury concluded

  • Police errors caused a dangerous situation at the turnstiles
  • Failures by commanding officers caused a crush on the terraces
  • There were mistakes in the police control box over the order to open the Leppings Lane end exit gates
  • Defects at the stadium contributed to the disaster
  • There was an error in the safety certification of the Hillsborough stadium
  • South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Ambulance Service delayed declaring a major incident
  • The emergency response was therefore delayed
  • Sheffield Wednesday failed to approve the plans for dedicated turnstiles for each pen
  • There was inadequate signage at the club and misleading information on match tickets
  • Club officials should have requested a delay in kick off as they were aware of a huge number of fans outside shortly before the game was due to start

Student Mr McBrien travelled by coach to Sheffield for the FA Cup semi-final organised by the Deeside Liverpool Supporters' Club from Flint.

Live reporting from the Hillsborough Inquests

How the disaster unfolded

The 96 who died

14 questions the jury answered

During the inquest, another fan who lost consciousness in the crush told how he "came to" and began trying to save Mr McBrien lying next to him.

Stuart Gray gave him a heart massage and chest compressions but said Mr McBrien was in a "desperate state" and he was "fighting a lost cause".

Mrs Hope added she was pleased with the outcome because she had no fight left in her.

"You can't be angry forever, you've got to accept what happened," she said.

"You were just unlucky you lost a son who you dearly loved. Nothing can bring him back again but there'll always be that empty space. "

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Media captionThe families of many of those killed sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" outside court

Who were the 96 victims?

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Media captionHillsborough: Remembering the 96 victims

Read profiles of all those who died in the disaster


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