Hillsborough Inquest Rules 96 Fans Were Unlawfully Killed

Police failures led to the death in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster

The Inquest jury have concluded that the ninety-six Liverpool football fans who died as a result of a crush in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, were unlawfully killed.

Those who died at the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were the victims of gross negligence at the hands of match commander David Duckenfield

After their 27-year long fight for truth and justice, these were the scenes outside court in Warrington today when families and campaigners heard the Hillsborough inquest verdicts.

You’ll Never Walk Along was sung outside court, before chants of “Justice for the 96”.

A statement issued on behalf of the families said the jury’s conclusions “completely vindicate” the long fight for justice.

Hillsborough 1

The BBC reports:

Police errors also added to a dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final.

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 on 15 April 1989.

Live reporting from the Hillsborough Inquests

When the conclusion of the unlawful killing was revealed, families were seen hugging each other in the public gallery and some punched the air.

When considering how each of the 96 victims died the jury concluded many died well after 15:15 on the day of the match.

The coroner at the original inquest, Dr Stefan Popper, said he would not hear any evidence relating to deaths beyond that time because he believed all the victims had died, or suffered fatal injuries, by then.

The jury also 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

People in the public gallery applauded the jury as they left court, with some standing up to clap them out.