THE world’s press descended on Warrington for the Hillsborough decisions at the town’s Parr Hall.
Queens Gardens and The Parr Hall terrace were packed with press and media from all over the world yesterday, as the news was announced that six people would be facing criminal prosecutions for their actions which led to the tragic loss of 96 lives – and for the subsequent cover up and orchestrated smear campaign to blame fans after the dreadful disaster which took place 28 years ago, at the FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Six people, including two former senior police officers, face criminal charges over the deaths of 96 people at the Hillsborough disaster and the alleged police cover-up that followed.
The decisions followed a two year inquest in Birchwood, Warrington, when a jury returned a verdict of unlawful killings.
David Duckenfield, of the South Yorkshire Police who was in command of policing at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989, faces charges of the manslaughter of 95 people.
The 96th victim was Tony Bland who died four years later after his life support was switched off. A manslaughter charge cannot be brought in his case because his death came more than a year and a day after his injuries were sustained.
Sir Norman Bettison, the former chief constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire police, faces four counts of misconduct in a public office.
Graham Mackrell, the Sheffield Wednesday chief executive and designated safety officer for the Hillsborough stadium faces charges of breaching the terms of the ground’s safety certificate and failing to take reasonable care under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The three others facing charges are alleged to have committed acts with intent to pervert the course of justice, pertaining to statements made by South Yorkshire police officers on duty at Hillsborough which were subsequently reviewed and changed.
The South Yorkshire police solicitor at the time, Peter Metcalf, Donald Denton, the South Yorkshire police chief superintendent and his deputy, chief inspector Alan Foster, all face charges.
Speaking after the announcement Trevor Hicks, who has campaigned tirelessly since the loss of his two daughters 28 years ago, said “There will be six people facing criminal charges who might not have done if we hadn’t been resilient and all stuck together and fought this long fight. There are no winners in this, it doesn’t bring anybody back.”
Four Warrington men died at Hillsborough.
Colin Ashcroft, aged 19 of Strawberry Close, Locking Stumps, Ian ‘Ronnie’ Whelan, aged 19 of Duckworth Grove, Padgate, Eric Hughes, aged 42, of Barmouth Close in Callands and David Benson, aged 22, of Hall Nook, Penketh.