Liverpool

Hillsborough trial: Jurors questioned on football allegiances

David Duckenfield Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption David Duckenfield, 75, was the match commander at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium in 1989

Potential jurors in the retrial of Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield have been asked about their football allegiances.

The jury panel was asked whether they supported Liverpool, Everton, Sheffield Wednesday or Nottingham Forest.

Judge Sir Peter Openshaw told Preston Crown Court he "must find jurors who can properly and fairly try such a case".

Mr Duckenfield denies gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terrace of Sheffield Wednesday's ground at the FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest on 15 April, 1989.

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

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

Mr Duckenfield, 75, sat in the well of the court during the hearing.

His wife Ann sat in court along with about 10 relatives of the 96 victims and 10 members of the press.

Other family members were able to watch proceedings via videolink at the Cunard building in Liverpool.

The 100 potential jurors were given questionnaires comprising of 19 questions to assess whether they were suitable to serve.

These included whether they or family members had been employed by the police or by criminal agencies and if they, or close relatives or friends, were at the stadium on the day of the disaster or had been involved in any Hillsborough campaign groups.

The court was adjourned for the questionnaires to be completed. The trial is expected to last up to seven weeks.

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