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Hillsborough disaster: 96 fans were ‘unlawfully killed’ in 1989 sporting catastrophe, jury concludes

Relatives of the victims of the 1989 disaster were in tears outside a courtroom after new inquests into Britain's worst sporting disaster.
Familiy members of victims show a photograph of their loved one, as they emerge from court after hearing the unlawful killing verdict at the Hillsborough inquest at the Coroners Court in Warrington. Peter Powell / EPA
Familiy members of victims show a photograph of their loved one, as they emerge from court after hearing the unlawful killing verdict at the Hillsborough inquest at the Coroners Court in Warrington. Peter Powell / EPA

WARRINGTON, ENGLAND // The 96 Liverpool football fans who died in the Hillsborough stadium disaster were “unlawfully killed” because of errors by the police, a jury concluded on Tuesday.

Relatives of the victims of the 1989 disaster, some wearing Liverpool scarves, were in tears outside a specially-built courtroom after new inquests into Britain’s worst sporting disaster.

Fans chanted “Justice for the 96” and sang the Premier League club’s anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone after hearing the verdicts.

Families spent more than a quarter of a century campaigning after being angered by the verdicts of accidental death at the original inquests following the April 1989 FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the stadium in Sheffield.

The original inquest verdicts were overturned in 2012 following a far-reaching inquiry into the disaster and new hearings held in Warrington, close to Liverpool in north-west England.

The jury, which had been considering 14 questions set out by the coroner, concluded the deaths constituted unlawful killing by a 7-2 majority, prompting crying and cheers at the hearing.

The jury also found that police planning errors “caused or contributed” to the situation that led to the crush, while confirming that the behaviour of fans did not cause or contribute to the tragedy.

The verdicts are not the end of the fight for the victims’ families. The Crown Prosecution Service said it will “formally consider whether any criminal charges should be brought against any individual or corporate body.”

* Associated Press

Updated: April 26, 2016 04:00 AM

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