JUSTICE FOR THE 96 - HILLSBOROUGH
On the 15th of April 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were innocently killed whilst attending an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough. Today, some eleven years on the families are still fighting for complete justice. The 96 fans killed are remembered at Anfield by the Eternal Flame memorial next to the Shankly Gates. A memorial was placed a short distance away from Hillsborough more than ten years after the event to acknowledge that the event happened. The eternal flame graphic can be seen below.
The fight for Justice goes on and will keep going until Justice is done. Support the 96.
The two Police officers were finally brought to court in a private prosecution in Summer 2000. Bernard Murray was cleared of any wrongdoing after a trial in front of a jury was heavily guided. Following the trial the jury had been sent away with four points to consider. Each point had a yes or no answer and only when the first question was answered yes could they consider the next.
David Duckenfield, the overall officer in charge on the day had no verdict against him after deliberations even after the judge stated that he would accept a majority verdict. This is a clear indication that the jury feel the officer was far from innocent. The judge then sent the famil support group away to consider whether they wanted a re-trial against Duckenfield. Howevere after the families decided that they wanted a re-trial Judge Hooper decided he wouldn't allow one. He claimed that the officer had gone through enough trauma.
Once again Justice is not allowed to happen through covering up. It seems that the trauma each and every family went through in 1989 is of no concern to the Judge in his decision. The support group have vowed to continue in their fight for justice. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign have also vowed to continue their fight for justice.
The truth has never been faced by the authorities after the event despite the Taylor report going some way into shedding light in who was to blame for the disaster. Reports from Police arising straight after the game suggested fans had stormed a gate open to enter the ground without tickets. This statement was later amended but the national press seized upon this statement and went to great lengths to protect the real truth from coming out. The police even thought that the cries from help on the terrace were the starts of a pitch invasion. This allegation was completely false and prevented fans from getting away from the terrace and potentially saving their own lives.
The inquests to the deaths were a complete shambles. They saw a verdict of accidental death retuned after the coroner allowed this verdict to include some scope of negligence to be included. A 3.15PM cut off time was placed on all the deaths despite medical evidence pointing to the facts that many fans were still alive well after this time. The inquests had seen much evidence ignored or tampered with. It was alleged that the video cameras which gave a clear view of the terrace were faulty on the day. However this has been proved wrong and the videos were conveniently lost and the person installing the cameras was never asked to give evidence.
The verdicts were passed in March 1991. The Police force placed in charge of all concerns of Hillsborough was West Midlands. In July 1991 the Police complaints Authority started to investiagte disciplinary procedures against two officers in charge of the day. Four months later one of the two men Chief Superintendent Duckenfield was allowed to retire on health grounds meaning he did not have to face charges. Three months later the authorities decided to scrap moves against the second officer as it would have been in appropriate.
In 1993 the request for the inquest verdicts to be overturned was turned down. A year later Jimmy McGovern's Cracker featured a serial killer traumatised by the disaster. Three months later he bowed to pressure to write a piece on Jillsborough for public viewing. This was shown to great acclaim in December 1996. The home secretary Michael Howard agreed to investigate the disaster again. The new home secretary, Jack Straw, in June 97 order Judge Stuart-Smith to scrutinise the evidence. His appointment proved a bad one in that his comments about the disaster were aired showing a prejudice against the fans before his final outcome had been arrived at. It was only 9 years after the event that families were eventually able to access files on the disaster which contained many inconsistencies. The report from the Lord Justice was accepted by Jack Straw and no new inquiry was instigated.
Statements which have since been viewed in the original and revised format revealed how many stories were heavily amended in providing the huge cover-up which has occurred. In June 1998 the Hillsborough Family Support Group decided to push forward with Private prosecutions against both Duckenfield and Murray. These prosecutions are still ongoing and in May 99 the South Yorkshire Police were ordered to hand over important documents to the families in their fight. Committal proceedings were set for the 5th July 99.
The Fight for the 96 below will go on until JUSTICE is granted.
The 96 Liverpool Fans who died at Hillsborough.
The memorial is shown below with the eternal flame burning on