Liverpool

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield denies manslaughter

Duckenfield Image copyright Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Image caption Former chief superintendent David Duckenfield appeared via videolink at Preston Crown Court

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield has pleaded not guilty to the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters.

The former chief superintendent, 74, appeared via videolink at Preston Crown Court for a trial preparation hearing.

The names of the 95 men, women and children he is charged with unlawfully killing were read out in court as the charge was put to him.

About 15 family members of victims were in the public gallery.

Mr Duckenfield, wearing a suit with a blue shirt and purple tie, spoke to confirm his name and enter his plea.

Second defendant

He was the police officer in charge at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, also pleaded not guilty to contravening a term or condition of the stadium's safety certificate and one health and safety offence.

Mr Duckenfield, of Ferndown, Dorset, is charged in relation to 95 people who died following the crush in the terrace pens of Sheffield Wednesday's ground.

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

In June, Judge Sir Peter Openshaw lifted a historical stay put in place on Mr Duckenfield in 2000 which had halted further legal proceedings against him.

A provisional trial date for both men has been set for 14 January.

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