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Jury hear vivid descriptions of Hillsborough disaster



Jurors have heard the vivid descriptions of the “vice-like” crushing of Liverpool football fans in a “scene of horror” at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. 

The police match commander David Duckenfield is on trial accused of gross negligence manslaughter over his role at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The jury were shown videos that illustrated second by second what was happening on the terraces.

They also heard the radio messages between officers on the ground and the police control box.

In one recording, an officer outside the Leppings Lane entrance before kick-off told his senior officers the overcrowding was “bloody chaos”.

The jury were told that, once some of the gates were opened, more fans got into the stadium and naturally headed down the central tunnel towards the terraces behind the goal.

The pens directly behind the goal, numbers three and four, were already dangerously full.

The prosecution said that one Liverpool fan, Colin Moneypenny, recalled: “He was on tiptoe. A body was underneath one of his feet. He could not move.

Jurors heard there was a clear risk to life at the stadium in 1989
The footage showed second by second what was happening on the terraces

“There was intense pressure around him. Because he was tall he could breathe normally. He could turn his head and scream and shout, which he did.

“He thought it was at least a good 15 minutes before things changed. His experience was one, in his words, of just shouting and screaming and trying to get people to help with absolutely no effect for virtually the whole of that period.”

The prosecutor said they would also hear from Stephen Allen, an off-duty police officer.

He said: “We will hear from him what, in short, I can describe now as the remarkable help he gave and the scene of horror around him.”

Police officers at Hillsborough warned there would be deaths if nothing was done to let a growing crowd of fans in before kick off, a court has heard.


Police at Hillsborough warned there would be deaths if a crowd of fans were not let in before kick off, a court has heard.

The members of the jury were told that David Duckenfield did nothing to “prevent, to hinder, discourage the flow of people down the central tunnel; nor did he take any action to avert the inevitable result.”

Prosecutor Richard Matthews QC said: “No one in the control box said anything about closing the tunnel. They were not concentrating on the consequences of relieving the pressure outside. There was no discussion after the opening of Gate C.”

“It is the prosecution case that it was David Duckenfield, the match commander, his duty to consider the consequences of opening the gates.”

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.
Pens directly behind the goal were dangerously full, the court heard

Duckenfield’s defence team then made a statement to the jury. Ben Myers QC said that the criminal prosecution of his client was unfair.

“He was not equipped with special powers to anticipate things that everyone else did not.”

“Our sympathy with those who suffered can never be a reason to convict someone for events beyond their control or responsibility.”

Duckenfield denies the charge of gross negligence manslaughter. Graham Mackrell, the former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary, denies safety breaches.

The case continues.

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