Hillsborough disaster match commander fails to halt manslaughter prosecution

A judge has decided that Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield will still face trial for manslaughter, after an application to halt the prosecution was rejected.

Ben Myers QC, who is defending Duckenfield, filed an application to the Preston Crown Court on Thursday to halt the prosecution Duckenfield is facing for his role in the 1989 disaster which killed 95 Liverpool fans.

The application was refused by judge Sir Peter Openshaw and Duckenfield faces trial on 14 January 2019.

The former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent faces 95 charges of ‘gross negligence manslaughter’.

The 96th victim of the disaster, Tony Bland, died over a year and a day after the injuries he sustained. As a result, there can be no prosecution for his death.

Graham Mackrell, the former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary, is also due to stand trial at the same time. Both men are charged with two offences concerning health and safety, and the stadium’s safety certificate.

Also scheduled to go on trial in January 2019 are two retired South Yorkshire Police officers, Donald Denton and Alan Foster, and a retired solicitor, Peter Metcalf.

All three defendants have been charged with acts which intended to pervert the course of justice.