English Premier League football club side, Liverpool have reacted to the judgment given on Thursday in the Hillsborough disaster case, where Hillsborough police match commander David Duckenfield was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.
Liverpool FC frowning at the judgment by the trial jury, commended bereaved families, and survivors of the tragedy, while hoping for a better judgment come April next year 2020.
Before the statement by the Premier League club, a jury composed of seven women and three men at Preston Crown Court had on Thursday given a verdict in the Hillsborough disaster following a trial which has lasted more than six weeks, and verdict in favour of Duckenfield.
Mr David Duckenfield, 75, the retired chief superintendent denied the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989.
The prosecution in the case alleged Mr David Duckenfield, 75, had a “personal responsibility” for what happened at the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15 1989, where 96 men, women and children, were fatally injured in a crush on the Leppings Lane terrace.
Under the law at the time he was not charged over the death of the 96th victim Tony Bland, because he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.
The victims’ families fought for 21 years against a 1991 inquest verdict of accidental death, finally seeing it quashed in 2012.
In April 2016, the jury at the new inquests determined that the 96 people were unlawfully killed by the gross negligence manslaughter of Mr Duckenfield to a criminal standard of proof.
Mr Duckenfield stood trial earlier this year but the jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict and a retrial was ordered.
Mr Justice Openshaw discharged the jury and expressed his “thanks and admiration” for the part they had played in the administration of justice.
Liverpool reacting to the judgment, released this statement on Thursday, 28th November 2019.
“Following today’s verdict at Preston Crown Court, Liverpool Football Club would like to commend the bereaved families, survivors and campaigners for the remarkable courage, dignity and resilience they have shown during the past three decades.
With further related legal proceedings listed for April and the restriction for commentary, we share the reactions and frustrations by the families today and those affected by the Hillsborough tragedy.
The journey that reached today’s stage, and will continue, is a testament to the perseverance and determination of all involved in the ongoing campaign for justice.
We also reiterate that the inquests in April 2016 concluded that the behaviour of Liverpool supporters did not cause or contribute to the Hillsborough disaster. We were disappointed that the allegations were raised again in this process.
We have immense admiration for the Hillsborough families, survivors and campaigners for what they have achieved and our thoughts remain with them and those 96 Liverpool supporters who went to watch their team and never came home”.