The 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, inquests have found - and police have admitted they got it “catastrophically wrong”. A jury ruled that the behaviour of fans was not a factor in the tragedy, which happened when supporters were crushed before an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989. The jurors also found that errors by the police and ambulance service had “caused and contributed” to Britain’s worst sporting disaster. The unlawful killing conclusion, reached by a majority of seven out of nine jurors, was greeted with sobbing and cheers at the hearing in Warrington, Cheshire. Emotional families, many of them in tears, sang the Liverpool anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone outside the court during a break in proceedings and chanted “justice for the 96”.
I pray to James and the other 95, please God, son, I want you to sleep well for the first time.
Campaigner Margaret Aspinall, whose son, James, died at Hillsborough
The new jury concluded that blunders by the police and ambulance service on the day had “caused or contributed” to the disaster and that the victims had been unlawfully killed. The jury forewoman wiped away tears and had a catch in her voice as she confirmed the answers to 14 questions about the disaster to coroner Sir John Goldring. To reach a verdict of unlawful killing, jurors had to be convinced that match commander - chief superintendent David Duckenfield - owed a duty of care to those who died in the disaster, and that he was in breach of that duty of care. They also had to be satisfied that his breach of duty caused the deaths, and fourthly, that it amounted to “gross negligence”. The deaths were ruled accidental at the end of the original 1991 inquest.