Nothing will ever bring their loved ones back, or diminish the disgraceful way so many in authority have acted since the tragedy, but six people are now to be prosecuted over the Hillsborough tragedy.
Over 28 years after the tragedy in 1989, the CPS have announced on Wednesday morning that the six people below will be held to account.
Sadly many others will go unpunished but this is a vital step in giving at least some justice for those who have suffered so much.
I remember being at Arsenal (Newcastle lost 1-0 at Highbury) as news of the disaster gradually came through, this was the days of transistor radios and no mobile phones, reports of a disturbance at first and then injuries, before then he shock of hearing some people had actually died.
Never could we have imagined just how many fellow football fans had perished when hearing those initial reports.
David Duckenfield is charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.
Sue Hemming of the CPS:
“I have found that there is sufficient evidence to charge former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who was the Match Commander on the day of the disaster, with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 men, women and children.”
“We will allege that David Duckenfield’s failures to discharge his personal responsibility were extraordinarily bad and contributed substantially to the deaths of each of those 96 people who so tragically and unnecessarily lost their lives.
“The offence clearly sets out the basis of those allegations.
“We are unable to charge the manslaughter of Anthony Bland, the 96th casualty, as he died almost four years later.
“The law as it applied then provided that no person could be guilty of homicide where the death occurred more than a year and a day later than the date when the injuries were caused.
“In order to prosecute this matter, the CPS will need to successfully apply to remove the stay imposed by a senior judge (now retired) at the end of the 1999 private prosecution when David Duckenfield was prosecuted for two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
“We will be applying to a High Court Judge to lift the stay and order that the case can proceed on a voluntary bill of indictment.”
Former Chief Constable Norman Bettison is charged with four offences of misconduct in public office relating to telling alleged lies about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the culpability of fans.
“Given his role as a senior police officer, we will ask the jury to find that this was misconduct of such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder.”
Peter Metcalf, who was the solicitor acting for the South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor Inquiry and the first inquests, is charged with doing acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice relating to material changes made to witness statements.
Mr Metcalf, an experienced solicitor, was instructed by Municipal Mutual Insurance to represent the interests of the force at the Taylor Inquiry and in any civil litigation that might result from the Hillsborough Disaster.
He reviewed the accounts provided by the officers and made suggestions for alterations, deletions and amendments which we allege were directly relevant to the Salmon letter issued by the Taylor Inquiry and for which there appears to be no justification.
Graham Henry Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer at the time, is charged with two offences of contravening a term of condition of a safety certificate contrary to the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and one offence of failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other persons who may have been affected by his acts or omissions at work under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. These offences relate to alleged failures to carry out his duties as required.
Donald Denton & Alan Foster
Former Chief Superintendent Donald Denton and former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster are also charged.
CPS statement reads:
“It is alleged that Donald Denton oversaw the process of amending the statements and in doing so, he did acts that had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice and we will say that Alan Foster was central to the process of changing the statements and took action to do so.”