Hillsborough police chief David Duckenfield cleared of manslaughter

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield has been found not guilty of the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans in the 1989 disaster.

The former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent, 75, was in charge of the FA Cup semi-final in which 96 fans were fatally injured.

Men, women and children were crushed on the Leppings Lane terrace.

Mr Duckenfield, of Ferndown, Dorset, was cleared after a seven-week retrial at Preston Crown Court.

Due to the law at the time, there can be no prosecution over the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland.

This is because he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

The jury at Mr Duckenfield’s original trial earlier this year failed to agree a verdict.

Christine Burke, whose father Henry Burke was killed in the disaster, stood in the public gallery and addressed the judge after the verdict was read out.

“With all due respect, my lord, 96 people were found unlawfully killed to a criminal standard,” she said.

“I would like to know who is responsible for my father’s death because someone is.”

Barry Devonside, whose son Christopher, 18, died in the disaster, said: “I’m shocked and stunned by the verdict of the jury.

“We, the families, have fought for 30 years valiantly.”

Mr Duckenfield’s defence counsel argued the case against him was “deeply unfair”.

Benjamin Myers QC told the jury his client had become “the focus of blame”.

“We say that is unfair, there are so many other people at fault, and so many causes,” the barrister added.

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