Hillsborough football match commander to face trial, accused of 95 counts of manslaughter

Hillsborough football match commander to face trial, accused of 95 counts of manslaughter
The football match commander who oversaw the Hillsborough football tragedy that saw 96 Liverpool fans die as a result of a crush - will now face trial, accused of 95 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Former South Yorkshire chief superintendent, David Duckenfield, 73, will face prosecution in September for his role in the disaster, alongside Graham Mackrell, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club's secretary at the time, who is charged with two offences – one involving the stadium safety certificate, and the another relating to health and safety.

Judge Sir Peter Openshaw, sitting at Preston Crown Court, lifted the legal restriction on Duckenfield's prosecution, called a 'stay,’ and granted a voluntary bill of indictment to permit the case to proceed.

The judge said: "In respect of the defendant David Duckenfield, I lift the stay. I confirm that I grant the voluntary bill of indictment to allow prosecution for manslaughter to proceed. I decline to order a stay on that charge."

READ MORE: ‘It was hell on Earth’: Hillsborough campaigner recalls tragedy that claimed her brother’s life

A total of 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of the Hillsborough tragedy, which unfolded at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Duckenfield could not be charged in relation to the death of Tony Bland, who became the 96th supporter to die when he passed away after four years in a coma, due to the length of time that elapsed between the incident and his death.

Under the law, there was a time limit of one year and one day within which manslaughter prosecutions could be initiated after the disaster.

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