Liverpool

Hillsborough trial: Police chief 'lied about fans forcing Hillsborough gate'

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

The police match commander at the Hillsborough disaster lied about fans forcing open a gate, a retrial heard.

David Duckenfield, 75, denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans who died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday's ground in 1989.

Preston Crown Court heard it happened after he ordered a gate to be opened to relieve crowd pressure outside.

The court was shown close-up photographs and video of the crush on the terraces at the ground.

Richard Matthews QC, for the prosecution, told the jury it would hear evidence that Mr Duckenfield told FA officials that fans had forced open Gate C and did not say he had given the order to open the gate.

Mr Mathews said: "In fact, Mr Duckenfield himself has subsequently, many years later, candidly admitted that it [telling the FA that fans had forced the gate] was a lie and you will hear exactly what he said during the trial."

He said Mr Duckenfield made the admission at the new Hillsborough inquests in Warrington in 2014.

He said at the same hearings Mr Duckenfield agreed he had made a number of failings and "he accepted that some of his failings were grave and serious".

Mr Matthews said: "Whilst it is likely that the ineffectual response to the unfolding tragedy that followed thereafter also contributed to some or many or all of the 96 deaths, it is the Crown's case that by 3.05pm the substantial cause of deaths of the 95 on the indictment had occurred."

The 96th victim, Tony Bland, died more than a year and a day after the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest on 15 April, 1989.

Under the law at the time, his death cannot be part of the charge against Mr Duckenfield.

His defence team is expected to open its case on Monday.

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