Prosecution silks for Hillsborough trial announced

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Jul 28, 2017
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Six people have been charged over the crush at the Sheffield Wednesday stadium in 1989

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Prosecutors have instructed two QCs to lead the case against the senior policeman and football club official facing criminal charges over the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989.

Richard Matthews, QC, of 2 Bedford Row chambers in London, will lead for the Crown Prosecution Service, while chambers-mate Christine Agnew, QC, will be his junior. They will put the case against David Duckenfield, who was the match commander on the day that 94 Liverpool supporters died in a crowd crush, with two dying later of their injuries. Standing trial alongside Duckenfield will be Graham Mackrell, who was the company secretary and safety officer for Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday’s ground.

The CPS also announced that Sarah Whitehouse, QC, from 6KBW chambers would lead the prosecutions against Peter Metcalf, the solicitor for South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor Inquiry into the disaster and the first inquests. She will also lead in the cases against Donald Denton, the former chief superintendent of South Yorkshire Police, Alan Foster, a former detective chief inspector at the South Yorkshire force, and Sir Norman Bettison, a former officer with that force, who went on to become chief constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police.

The first appearance of all defendants apart from Duckenfield is scheduled for Warrington magistrates’ court on August 9.

Prosecutors said in a statement that if the cases are sent to the crown court at that hearing, the next hearing will be on 6 September 6 at Preston crown court. Although the first appearance will be at Preston no decision has been taken on where the trials will ultimately take place.

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