Retired police chief to enter plea to manslaughter charge over Hillsborough disaster

Retired police chief, David Duckenfield (PA)

A retired police chief is due to enter his plea today to a charge of gross negligence manslaughter over the Hillsborough disaster.

David Duckenfield, who was the match day commander at Hillsborough football stadium on the day of the disaster, is due to enter his plea via videolink during a hearing at Preston Crown Court.

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The 74-year-old former chief superintendent, is charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 Liverpool supporters who died following a crush in the terrace pens at Sheffield Wednesday's ground at an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

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Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused during the crush.

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Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, is also due to appear in court to enter pleas to one charge of contravening a term or condition of the stadium's safety certificate and one health and safety offence.

A provisional trial date of January 14 has been set for both men.

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