Match commander David Duckenfield found not guilty of Hillsborough disaster manslaughter

Match commander David Duckenfield has been cleared of manslaughter following a charge stemming from the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

David Duckenfield was the match commander on April 15 1989, when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest.   -  Getty Images

Former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent David Duckenfield has been found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter over the deaths of 95 people in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Duckenfield was the match commander on April 15 1989, when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semifinal at the home of Sheffield Wednesday.

He was charged over the deaths of 95 of the 96 people who died in crushes at the Leppings Lane end of the stadium.

Tony Bland, who was the 96th supporter to lose his life, died more than a year and a day after the tragedy. UK law at the time of the disaster stipulated that charges could not be brought in that circumstance.

Following a retrial at Preston Crown Court, the jury returned its not guilty verdict on Thursday. An initial trial earlier this year ended when the jury could not reach a verdict.

Families of those who died at Hillsborough have long campaigned for their concerns over the tragedy to be heard and for justice to be served.

An original verdict of accidental death was quashed at the High Court in London in December 2012, soon after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP) report.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell was found guilty earlier this year of a charge relating to health and safety at the ground.

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