Liverpool fans were killed unlawfully at Hillsborough, rules jury

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Football News

After two years of hearings and over two decades of campaigning, Hillsborough families have finally been given justice as a jury ruled that 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed. 

The landmark decision was announced on Tuesday morning at Birchwood Park, Warrington. 

Gross negligence

In front of a packed courtroom, jurors announced a majority decision that they were 'sure' that South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, the head of police operations on that fateful day, and his colleagues were responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence.


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The question of 'unlawful killing' was the final point to be discussed out of a 14-section questionnaire, and related to whether Duckenfield had firstly breached his duty of care, and if indeed that breach contributed to the deaths. 

The other 13 were all answered unanimously, including issues of stadium safety, fans' behaviour, and the response of the emergency services.

Last year, Duckenfield apologised for his role in the tragedy, admitting he had not told the whole truth about police failings on the day. 

Tragedy at Hillsborough 

96 Liverpool fans never returned after a crush in the Leppings Lane at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium.

The hearings that followed have been the longest-running in British history. Earlier this month, the Hillsborough Families' Support Group held their annual memorial service at Anfield for the final time. Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager on April 15 1989, was joined at the event by current boss Jurgen Klopp and his players, as well as former heroes Ian Rush and Alan Hansen.

Justice for the 96

Today marks a truly momentous day for the city of Liverpool. The town hall flew flags at half mast, while families of the victims queued outside the court to await the verdict.

Over 20,000 people tweeted 'JFT96' - the acronym for 'Justice for the 96' - in solidarity with the victims' families.

Now, almost exactly 27 years on from the day of the disaster, Hillsborough campaigners have finally been given something close to justice.

Should campaigners now pursue a criminal case? Have your say in the comments. 

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Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Europa League
Philippe Coutinho

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