Hillsborough Victims 'Unlawfully Killed'

The jury at the new inquests for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Disaster have concluded that they were unlawfully killed, and that the main cause of the tragedy was the actions of the police

The jury in Warrington also concluded that the behaviour of Liverpool fans at the stadium didn't cause or contribute to what happened.

Summary Of The Main Jury Findings:

  • Both the police and the ambulance service caused or contributed to the loss of lives in the disaster by an error or omission after the crush in the west terrace had begun to develop
  •  They found unanimously that policing of the match caused or contributed to a dangerous situation developing at the Leppings Lane turnstiles
  • Commanding officers caused or contributed to the crush on the terrace as did those senior officers in the police control box when the order was given to open the exit gates at the Leppings Lane end
  • Features of the design, construction and layout of the stadium considered to be dangerous or defective caused or contributed to the disaster
  • The safety certification and oversight of the stadium also played a part
  • Sheffield Wednesday's then consultant engineers, Eastwood & Partners, should have done more to detect and advise on any unsafe or unsatisfactory features of the stadium which caused or contributed to the disaster
The inquest has been the longest jury case in British legal history.
 
The victims were all Liverpool fans who were involved in a crush at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15th 1989, in the early stages of an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
 
The original accidental death verdicts were quashed in December 2012, and new inquests began in March 2014. 

The jury heard 296 days of evidence over nearly two years. 620 witnesses gave evidence to the hearings, and the testimony of another 532 people were read to the jury.

Coroner Sir John Goldring began on January 25th, and ended on April 6th. The jury spent 11 days summing up.
 
There's been widespread reaction to today's conclusions.
 
Leigh MP Andy Burnham, a supporter of the justice campaign, said:
 
"This has been the greatest miscarriage of justice of our times. But, finally, it is over. After 27 long years, this is real justice for the 96, their families and all Liverpool supporters. The survivors of this tragedy can finally be remembered for what they were on that day - the heroes of Hillsborough who tried to help their fellow fans."

Liverpool MP Steve Rotherham was at the game:
 
"I have waited 27 years for this moment. But I know it comes too late for many. I was there on the day and saw the horror unfold before my very eyes. Before we'd even buried our dead, the hurt of loss was compounded by the lies and smears. I remember picking up a newspaper and feeling sick to the pit of my stomach. They inflicted terrible pain on a city at its moment of maximum grief. I've seen how friends have suffered. This is a momentous day but they should never have had to wait so long. The truth is out there for all to see. Justice has been served by the verdicts and now it is about accountability."
 
John Aldridge was playing for Liverpool in the game:
 
"Fantastic to see the reaction of the families outside the court! Very emotional as well. The truth is out AT LAST. Take note all the doubters!!"
 
A criminal investigation into the Hillsborough Disaster, and an inquiry by the IPCC into the alleged cover up following the tragedy, both continue. 
 
The criminal investigation could be finished by the end of the year. 

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