Six individuals will face criminal charges following an inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. Former Match Commander for South Yorkshire Police David Duckenfield is among those facing charges of manslaughter by gross negligence.
Operation Resolve examined the preparations leading up to the 1989 FA Cup semi-final and the events of the day, where 96 Liverpool FC fans died at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield.
It considered the criminal offences of gross negligence manslaughter, misconduct in public office, and perverting the course of justice, as well as offences under the Safety at Sports Ground Act and the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Files of evidence relating to 23 suspects, including individuals and organizations, were passed to the CPS earlier this year by Operation Resolve and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Relatives of the 96 victims were told of the CPS decision in a private meeting on Wednesday morning.
Besides Duckenfield, others facing charges include Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer on the day, Graham Henry Mackrell.
The solicitor acting for the South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor Inquiry and the first inquests, Peter Metcalf, will also face charges, as will the former Chief Superintendent Donald Denton of South Yorkshire Police, the force’s former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster, and the same force’s former officer and later Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police Norman Bettison.
Bettison is charged with four counts of misconduct in public office. Denton, Foster and Metcalfe are accused of acting with intent to pervert the course of justice. Mackrell is charged with three offences relating to health and safety and safety at sports grounds.
All defendants bar Duckenfield are to appear at Warrington Magistrates Court on August 8.
The head of the special crime and counterterrorism division for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Sue Hemming, said that the conduct of West Midlands Police still needs “additional investigative work.”
“Additionally, just this week, the [Independent Police Complaints Commission – IPCC] has referred two further suspects which are unconnected to the matters sent to us in January; these subjects are subject to ongoing consideration by the CPS. We will announce our decisions in due course,” she said.
“The suspects referred to the CPS included individuals and organisations.
“Following these thorough investigations and our careful review of the evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have decided there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences.”
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