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Hillsborough Prosecutions

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As most people are now aware David Duckenfield will face trial for the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 of the 96 who an inquest jury found had been killed unlawfully at Hillsborough. Today, Judge Sir Peter Openshaw lifted a stay on David Duckenfield's prosecution imposed following his previous trial. Graham Mackrell, the Sheffield Wednesday Club Secreatary at the time is charged with health and safety, and safety at sports grounds offences. Peter Metcalf, former solicitor for the South Yorkshire Police and in 1989 a senior partner in Hammond Suddards - the SYP solicitors, Donald Denton and Alan Foster then senior officers in the South Yorkshire Police, will face trial later charged with perverting the course of justice.

The reason that charges are limited to the deaths of 95 rather than the 96 who died is that Tony Bland died so long after he sustained his terminal injuries. At that time the law limited prosecutions to deaths occurring within a year and a day of sustaining injury.

The trial of David Duckenfield and Graham Mackrell is due to start on 10 September.

It is imperative that no comment nor inference of liability is made regarding these charges or the potential outcome of the trials. Just because a person is not named in a tweet or a post does not mean that inferred guilt is permissable. If it is obvious who that person is it could well compromise the prosecutions. My advice, for what it's worth, is post nothing on any forum regarding the prosecutions.

As ever, Phil.

Thank you Phil. Wise words of advice. We shall certainly comply with them.

Okay, so today's the day it all starts............DD and Mackrell.

Legal teams are due to meet today, with the case expected to open later this week.

Joe Thomas from the Echo has posted an article, informing us of proceedings and also reminding us of the need to take care online during these trials. This cannot be stressed enough.

Echo's update feed is here:

There's apparently a Facebook group too - will post link when I find it.

Dedicated group on Facebook now live, courtesy of Joe Thomas at the Echo. 

Note - it's a closed group, you need to apply to join.

Re-emphasising here the need for caution regarding any commentary on social media or public domain.

Message if any questions.

We walk on.....

From the Echo feed

Duckenfield's charges:

Indictment read to court
The indictment is now being read to the jury. This is the charge read to them in relation to Duckenfield

DAVID GODFREY DUCKENFIELD between the 15th day of April 1989 and the 18th day of April 1989,

He unlawfully killed by gross negligence the 95 persons named in the appendix to this count in that:-

i. As Match Commander he owed a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of those attending the Hillsborough Stadium as spectators in respect of the serious and obvious risk of death arising from overcrowding and consequent crushing.

ii. In breach of that duty of care, he failed to take reasonable care:
a. to identify particular potential confining points and hazards to the safe entry of approximately 24,000 spectators arriving from the Leppings Lane area of Hillsborough into the designated sections of the stadium;
b. to sufficiently monitor and assess the number and situation of spectators yet to enter within the stadium from the Leppings Lane area of Hillsborough;
c. in good time, to take action to relieve crowding pressures on and from spectators seeking entry to the stadium from the Leppings Lane area of Hillsborough;
d. to sufficiently monitor and assess the number and situation of spectators in pens three and four;
e. in good time, to prevent crushing to persons in pens three and four by the flow of spectators through the central tunnel.

iii. That breach of duty amounted to gross negligence.

iv. That negligence was a substantial cause of the death of the 95 persons named in the appendix to this Count.

Mackrell indictment read to jurors
The two charges Mackrell faces are now read to court

Count One


12(1)(d) of the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and by virtue of section 12(7) of the said Act.


GRAHAM HENRY MACKRELL on the 15th day of April 1989, being the company secretary and a senior manager of Sheffield Wednesday Plc, consented to or connived at the company’s offence, namely the contravention of Condition 6(1) of Schedule 2, General Terms and Conditions, of the Safety Certificate in respect of Hillsborough Stadium, in that being the Holder of the Safety Certificate it failed to agree, prior to the F.A. Cup semi-final football match of the 15th day of April 1989, with the Chief Constable, or the Police Officer having charge of the Stadium on the occasion of the said football match, the methods of admission to be employed in connection with the said football match, in particular, the arrangements of and number of turnstiles to be used for admission into the west stand terraces and north-west terraces; or the commission of the said offence by the company was attributable to neglect on his part.

Count Two


AT WORK ETC. ACT 1974, contrary to section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.


GRAHAM HENRY MACKRELL between the 19th day of March 1989 and the 16th day of April 1989, being an employee at work within the meaning of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, failed to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other persons who may have been affected by his acts or omissions at work, in that, firstly, he:

i. Failed to take reasonable care as the safety officer in respect of arrangements for admission to the Hillsborough Stadium and particularly in respect of turnstiles being of such numbers as to admit at a rate whereby no unduly large crowds would be waiting for admission;

ii. Failed to take reasonable care as the safety officer in respect of the drawing up of contingency plans, in particular, for coping with exceptionally large numbers of spectators arriving at the ground and to deal with situations where the available entrances at the ground have proved insufficient to stop unduly large crowds from gathering outside.


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