After two years of hearing evidence on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, jurors have finally reached a majority decision on the one last question they had been deliberating over, whether the 96 victims of the disaster were unlawfully killed.
Unanimous decisions had already been made regarding the other 13 questions, but the jury of six women and three men at Birchwood Park,Warrington had found it hard to unanimously agree on question six which asks: “Are you satisfied, so that you are sure, that those who died in the disaster were unlawfully killed?”.
The coroner, Sir John Goldring had informed the jury he would only accept a majority decision of 8-1 or 7-2 on the one remaining question and the result of this decision will now be given from 11am on Tuesday.
Addressing the jury, Goldring said: “It is so that those families who could not be here all the time can come. So it will be tomorrow that I will ask you formally to return your findings in relation to the general and individual questionnaires.”
To find the 96 victims were unlawfully killed, the jury have to be satisfied that the South Yorkshire police Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who was in command of police operations at the time, “was responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence of those 96 people”.
The other questions asked included questions about the police planning before the game, stadium safety, events on the day, the emergency services’ response to the disaster and whether the Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed.
Many of those whose relatives died have regularly attended the new inquests which are by far the longest running inquests in British legal history lasting two years. During that time the jury have heard from more than 800 witnesses and the jury were finally sent out on 6 April.