Liverpool

Hillsborough trial: Jurors shown Liverpool fans' final movements

David Duckenfield arriving at court Image copyright PA
Image caption Match commander David Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 fans

Footage of the final movements of fans who died at the Hillsborough disaster has been played to jurors.

The jury was shown video highlighting the position of fans on the Leppings Lane terrace and photographs of supporters trapped against the fences.

Judge Sir Peter Openshaw said jurors would be asked to deal with the case with "cold, dispassionate analysis."

Match commander David Duckenfield, 74, denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 people.

'Put aside emotions'

One video compilation identified 15-year-old Philip Steele's position in the crush.

His mother, Dolores, who gave evidence last week, was in Preston Crown Court again as the footage was played.

The judge described the deaths as a "profound human tragedy," adding that any subsequent trial was "inevitably dramatic and from time to time distressing."

But he also warned the jury: "When I come to sum up the case to you, I will tell you to put aside your sympathies and emotions, and I will direct you that you must decide the case under cold, dispassionate analysis."

Richard Matthews QC, prosecuting, told the jury a list of "agreed facts" including the names and ages of those who died, the time of death, and medical cause of death.

Image caption The people who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster

The judge said the prosecution argues the footage shows the danger the supporters were exposed to. He cautioned though that lawyers for Mr Duckenfield would say it added nothing to material jurors had already heard or seen.

'Stepping on my head'

The jury also heard evidence from supporters who survived the crush at the the April 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

In a statement made in May 1989, John Davies, described how he became trapped while trying to escape through a gate.

His statement read: "I remember people on the terrace stepping on my head to get out".

He said there was another fan trapped next to him who was shouting, then "he went quiet and I could see his face was ashen," the statement continued.

Mr Davies said he feared he was going to be left where he was, so he grabbed hold of a policeman's trouser leg. He was eventually dragged by his arms onto the pitch, the court heard.

Another Liverpool fan, Michael Moran, who gave a statement in 2014, survived the crush in pen four and described how he took short breaths "like a goldfish" and "thought I was going to die".

Commander's 'limited' experience

He said he tried to give the kiss of life to a teenager standing next to him, who "looked asleep".

Describing his escape, Michael Moran said, "I remember people running over our heads to get to the fence. I managed to drag myself out over the people below me. I pulled on the fence and then blacked out. When I came to I was in the goalmouth."

The jury also heard Mr Duckenfield had previously admitted he "probably wasn't the best man for the job" in his evidence read out to the court from inquests into the deaths in March 2015.

Mr Duckenfield was promoted to chief superintendent in March 1989 and took on the role of match commander.

During the inquests he agreed he had "very limited" direct experience of both planning for football matches and policing them, the court was told.

He had been asked by counsel to the inquests Christina Lambert QC whether he was "the man for the job".

He told her he had been looking forward to the challenge but later said that "with hindsight" he should have thought about "my limited knowledge of the role of a commander in a major event that was an all-ticket sell-out when I had not been responsible, or in that responsible position, previously".

Mr Duckenfield had told the inquest: "I'm older, hopefully more wiser. Probably I wasn't the best man for the job on the day."

He also conceded that he and his senior colleagues "should have thought more seriously" about filtering fans on their way to the turnstiles.

Mr Duckenfield, of Ferndown, Dorset, is on trial alongside Sheffield Wednesday's ex-club secretary Graham Mackrell, 69, who denies a charge related to the stadium safety certificate and a health and safety charge.

The trial continues.

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