David Duckenfield trial: Hillsborough dad 'regrets' letting son attend game

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Barry Devonside said he initially refused to let his son attend the match at Hillsborough

The father of a teenager who died in the Hillsborough disaster has said he will regret letting him go to the match for the rest of his life.

Barry Devonside told the trial of match commander David Duckenfield he was reluctant to take his son Christopher, 18, to the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

He refused initially to take his son after experiencing crushing at the ground himself the year before.

Mr Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 fans.

The jury heard that Mr Devonside twice told his son he could not go in the Leppings Lane terrace as he had experienced crushing in there the year before.

Mr Devonside told Preston Crown Court he felt it was not safe to take his son but eventually he said he could go because Christopher kept asking.

He said: "I'll regret that for the rest of my life."

Image source, Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption,
Christopher Devonside kept asking his dad to attend the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest FA Cup game

Mr Devonside and his son had tickets for different parts of the ground.

Mr Devonside was sitting in the North Stand, while Christopher was standing on the Leppings Lane terraces.

He told the court he said goodbye to him there and said: "I'll see you later, son."

From his seat, he told the court he could see that pens three and four were "chock-a-block".

He said he saw people trying to climb out of the pens, and asked a man next to him what was happening.

The man had a pocket radio and told him that people had died.

Mr Devonside went to find his son, and spent hours touring hospitals and a reception centre before finally identifying his body at the temporary mortuary.

He said he was initially told by police that Christopher was not in the gymnasium - that served as a mortuary - but after searching the local hospital, he was told by another officer to go back to the gym where he identified Christopher's body.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
David Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 fans

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