Soccer-Liverpool say Hillsborough campaigners have been let down again

FILE PHOTO: People pay their respects at the Hillsborough Memorial on the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster when 96 Liverpool supporters were crushed to death at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, outside Liverpool Football Club's Anfield Stadium, Britain, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool football club said campaigners had been let down again after the acquittal on Wednesday of two ex-policemen and a lawyer charged with perverting the course of justice following the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster.

Ninety-six Liverpool supporters were crushed to death in an over-crowded and fenced-in enclosure at the stadium in Sheffield before an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The BBC reported that Judge William Davis ruled the men, accused of altering statements, had no case to answer because a non-statutory enquiry was not a "course of public justice" that could be perverted.

Retired former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Donald Denton, the force’s ex-detective chief inspector Alan Foster, and lawyer Peter Metcalf had denied the charges.

Liverpool issued a statement on the club website noting the latest developments with 'huge disappointment'.

"While it would not be our place, legally or otherwise, to comment on those proceedings as they pertain to individuals, it is incumbent on us to forcefully point out that the 96 victims, their families, survivors and all those who suffered as a result of the Hillsborough tragedy have continuously been failed in their pursuit for justice," the club said.

"We salute all those who have campaigned for justice. They have been let down yet again.

"We have a situation in which 96 people were unlawfully killed and yet no individual or group has been deemed legally culpable for their deaths."

The Premier League club emphasised that the behaviour of Liverpool fans was not a contributory factor in the disaster -- "a truth for which the bereaved families had to fight for over a quarter of a century".

Police at first blamed the disaster on drunken fans, an explanation always rejected by survivors, relatives of the victims and the wider Liverpool community who spent years fighting to find out what had happened.

Later inquests and an independent inquiry absolved the fans of any responsibility.

Former chief superintendent David Duckenfield, who was in charge of police operations at Hillsborough, was found not guilty of manslaughter in 2019.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

Soccer-England women to play first competitive game at Wembley in October
Soccer-Real Madrid's new boy Alaba tests positive for COVID-19
Soccer-Fans to return for Portuguese Super Cup
Soccer-Bordeaux name Petkovic as head coach on three-year contract
Soccer-Man United agree deal to sign Real centre back Varane
Soccer-Man Utd defender Telles to miss start of season
Soccer-Lee Carsley appointed England U-21 manager with Ashley Cole as assistant
Soccer-Spurs defender Alderweireld signs for Qatari side Al Duhail
Soccer-Judge annuls 2018 election of Brazil soccer head Caboclo
Soccer-Man Utd agree fee to sign Real defender Varane - reports

Stories You'll Enjoy