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Hillsborough father ‘frozen with fear’ as tragedy unfolded and son was killed | UK News

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A father repeatedly broke down with emotion in court as he recalled the moment he discovered his son had died in the Hillsborough disaster.

Barry Devonside told a jury at the trial of match police commander David Duckenfield that he was “frozen from head to foot with fear” for his son as the tragedy unfolded.

Mr Devonside was watching the 1989 FA cup semi-final from an adjacent stand as crushing gripped two pens overcrowded with Liverpool fans on the ground’s Leppings Lane terraces – the spot from where his 18-year-old son Christopher and friends had been watching the match.

The father was standing next to a supporter who told him that he had heard from match commentary on his radio that two people had died.

Mr Devonside was later told by one of Christopher’s friends: “You are going to have to expect the worst.”

The ex-South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent David Duckenfield is accused of manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 people who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
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The Hillsborough disaster remains the worst disaster in British sporting history

The court heard how, following a desperate search for his son’s body, Mr Devonside arrived at a temporary mortuary in the Sheffield stadium’s gym and was confronted by a South Yorkshire policeman who told him that his son was not there.

He told the court: “I am not here to criticise police officers but I am going to criticise this man. He treated me like I was dirt on his shoe. He more or less shouted at me: You wait there!”

Trevor Hicks, a key campaigner for Hillsborough families, also gave evidence.

He too was watching the match from a different spot as his daughters Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, were killed in the crush.

The sea of flowers and scarves at Anfield. The ex-South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent David Duckenfield is accused of manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 people who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
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The sea of flowers and scarves at Anfield

He said that he and others were shouting to a police officer: “Look can’t you see things are going badly wrong?”

Asked how the police officer responded, he said: “He told me to shut my f****** prattle.”

Mr Hicks said he ended up on the pitch where he saw his two daughters lying side by side. He went in an ambulance with Victoria while Sarah was still being treated on the pitch.

He told the court: “That was probably the worst moment of my life.” Both girls had died.

Match commander Duckenfield denies a charge of gross negligence manslaughter. Sheffield Wednesday’s former secretary Graham Mackrell denies two charges relating to health and safety.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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