Liverpool

Hillsborough disaster accused appear in crown court

(Clockwise from top left) Sir Norman Bettison, Graham Mackrell, Alan Foster, Donald Denton, Peter Metcalf appeared at Preston Crown Court Image copyright Getty Images/EPA
Image caption (Clockwise from top left) Sir Norman Bettison, Graham Mackrell, Alan Foster, Donald Denton, Peter Metcalf appeared at Preston Crown Court

Five men charged over the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath have appeared in crown court.

The men, including ex-South Yorkshire Police (SYP) Ch Insp Sir Norman Bettison, sat in a glass-walled dock at Preston Crown Court in Lancashire.

No formal pleas were given in the hearing but their legal teams have indicated they will deny the charges.

Mr Justice Davis has ruled that any forthcoming trials should be held in Preston.

About 20 family members of the 96 fans who were fatally injured in the 1989 disaster sat yards away in the public gallery, overlooking the court packed with 36 lawyers.

Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption Ninety-six football fans were fatally injured in a crush at Hillsborough stadium in 1989

Former Ch Supt David Duckenfield also faces 95 charges of manslaughter but was not required to attend.

He can not be charged until an application to lift a stay on prosecution - imposed after he was prosecuted privately in 1999 - has been heard at the High Court.

Mr Duckenfield was match commander at the FA Cup semi-final when 96 Liverpool fans were fatally injured in a crush.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption David Duckenfield was the South Yorkshire Police match commander at the FA Cup semi-final

The full list of individuals and charges are:

  • Mr Duckenfield faces manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 men, women and children
  • Sir Norman faces four charges of misconduct in a public office relating to alleged lies he told in the aftermath about the culpability of fans
  • Graham Mackrell, former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary, has pleaded not guilty to two offences involving the stadium safety certificate and a health and safety offence
  • Peter Metcalf, who was a solicitor acting for SYP, is charged with perverting the course of Justice, relating to changes to witness statements
  • Former Ch Supt Donald Denton and former Det Ch Insp Alan Foster are accused of perverting the course of justice

The CPS brought charges following referrals from the Operation Resolve investigation into the causes of the disaster and the Independent Police Complaints Commission probe.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites