Hillsborough jurors to deliver verdict today

Jurors deciding what caused the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans in the Hillsborough disaster have reached verdicts that will be delivered today.

New inquests into Britain’s worst sporting disaster have been taking place for two years. The original verdicts of accidental death were overturned in 2012.

The jury had to consider 14 questions set out by the coroner, including determining if the officer in charge was responsible.

Sir John Goldring, told the jury he could accept a decision of 7-2 or 8-1 on one remaining question they hadn’t agreed on — whether Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed.

At the 1989 FA Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, a crush in an overcrowded section in the stadium led to the deaths.

The jury continued their deliberations before they returned and indicated that at least seven of them had reached a majority decision in respect of that question.

The decisions will be given from 11am today.

Addressing the jury, Sir John said: “It is so that those families who could not be here all the time can come.

“So it will be tomorrow that I will ask you formally to return your findings in relation to the general and individual questionnaires.”

The jury has been told to answer a general questionnaire of 14 questions as well as record the time and cause of death for each of the Liverpool fans who died in the disaster on April 15, 1989.

These include questions about the police planning before the game, stadium safety, events on the day, the emergency services’ response to the disaster and whether the fans were unlawfully killed.

Last Wednesday the jury indicated to the court in Warrington that unanimous decisions had already been made on every question apart from question six.

Question six asks: “Are you satisfied that those who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed?”

Before they were sent out on April 6 to start their deliberations, jurors were told they could only answer “yes” if they were sure that match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield owed a duty of care to those who died in the disaster, and that he was in breach of that duty of care.

Thirdly, they would need to be satisfied his breach of duty caused the deaths and, fourthly, that it amounted to “gross negligence”.


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