Who are the six people facing criminal charges over Hillsborough disaster?

The stadium disaster killed 96 football fans in 1989.


The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that six people face prosecution over the Hillsborough disaster.

Ninety-six football fans were killed in the stadium disaster on April 15 1989.

The full list of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster (Hillsborough Inquests/PA)

Here are the details of the charges which have been set out against each defendant.

David Duckenfield

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

The former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent, who was the match commander on the day of the disaster, is charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 men, women and children.

The CPS said it is alleged that 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”.

It said it was unable to charge him with the manslaughter of Tony Bland – the 96th casualty – because he died almost four years later. The law as it applied then meant that no-one could be guilty of manslaughter if the death occurred more than a year and a day later than the date when the injuries were caused. But it added that it will be applying to the High Court to allow the case to proceed.

Sir Norman Bettison

Former Merseyside chief constable Sir Norman Bettison (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Former Merseyside and West Yorkshire chief constable Bettison is charged with four offences of misconduct in public office.

The CPS said these relate 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, prosecutors 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, the CPS said.

Donald Denton

Posters outside Parr Hall, Warrington, where the CPS announced its charging decisions (Peter Byrne/PA)

Former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Denton is charged with doing acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice relating to material changes made to witness statements.

It is alleged that 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, the CPS said.

Alan Foster

Liverpool fans hold up a banner about the Hillsborough disaster (Nigel French/PA)

Foster, a former South Yorkshire Police detective chief inspector, is also charged with doing acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice relating to material changes made to witness statements.

The CPS said Foster was central to the process of changing the statements and took action to do so.

Graham Mackrell

St George’s Hall in Liverpool illuminated following the outcome of the Hillsborough inquest in 2016 (Peter Byrne/PA)

Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday’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.

He is also charged with 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 Act 1974. The CPS said these offences relate to alleged failures to carry out his duties as required.

Peter Metcalf

A memorial plaque to those who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster, outside Anfield (Nick Potts/PA)

Metcalf, who was the solicitor acting for 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.

The CPS said Metcalf was instructed by Municipal Mutual Insurance to represent the interests of the police 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 prosecutors allege were directly relevant to an official letter issued by the Taylor Inquiry and for which there appears to be no justification.



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