On Wednesday the Crown Prosecution Service announced that six people would face charges for their part in the Hillsborough Disaster. My thoughts were with the families and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster on what was a momentous day for them and particularly with those who have lost loved ones in the intervening years who were campaigning for truth and justice and who are not here to see that campaign vindicated.
- Former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield - Match Commander for South Yorkshire Police at the 1989 FA Cup semi final - charged with 95 counts gross negligence manslaughter
- Former Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and later West Yorkshire Police, Norman Bettison - charged with four offences of misconduct in public office
- Peter Metcalf, a solicitor acting for South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor Inquiry and the first inquests - charged with doing acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice
- Former Chief Superintendents Donald Denton - charged with perverting the course of public justice
- Former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster - charged with perverting the course of public justice
- Graham Henry Mackrell, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer at the time of the disaster in 1989 - charged with two offences under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and one offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
When Andy Burnham and I called for full transparency and the release of documentation on the morning of the 20th anniversary commemoration in 2009, a call which led to the establishment of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, I did not believe there would ever be criminal charges laid of the kind we now see. I am glad to be able to say that I was wrong.
I now look forward to the criminal law taking its proper course and for the charges against all the defendants to be dealt with in a court of law, by a judge and jury.
On Thursday morning I spoke to the presenters on Good Morning Britain about the Hillsborough Disaster. Also on the programme was Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall who spoke of the how the charges brought by the CPS are another step forward for the families affected in their fight for accountability. To watch, follow the link below and begin from 1hr 48 minutes.