Hillsborough disaster jury given guidance on verdict


The Hillsborough jury have been told they can return a majority verdict in relation to charges relating to the loss of life for 96 Liverpool supporters.

Judge Sir Peter Openshaw told the six men and six women that he will accept a majority verdict of at least 10-2 after the court heard they could not reach a unanimous decision.

Former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, 74, faces a charge of gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans back in 1989. Meanwhile, former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell faces a verdict on his charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The jury spent more than five days deliberating after a ten-week long case saw vast amounts of evidence provided regarding the deaths of 96 people at the FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield on 15 April 1989.

Those in court heard that 96 men, women and children went to the football and failed to return home as a result of a fatal crush on the Leppings Lane terrace. Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he passed away more than a year after the disaster.

It is expected the juror are close to providing their final verdict; however, Judge Sir Peter advised a “full and frank exchange of views” was needed to reach a true outcome.


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When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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