Six men are to be charged over the Hillsborough disaster where 96 people lost their lives during the 1989 FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest FC, at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough football ground.
Retired David Duckenfield, the South Yorkshire officer who was in command of policing at the match, is the only one to be charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of the deaths of 95 men, women and children.
Duckenfield could not be charged over the death of 96th victim Tony Bland because he died almost four years later.
Former South Yorkshire Police Chief Inspector Sir Norman Bettison is charged with four offences of misconduct in a public office, relating to telling “alleged lies about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the culpability of fans”.
Donald Denton, the South Yorkshire police chief superintendent and his deputy, chief inspector Alan Foster are charged with perverting the course of justice along with former South Yorkshire police solicitor, Peter Metcalf.
Graham Henry Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer at the time, is accused of breaching Health and Safety and and Safety at Sports Ground legislation.
Last year, new inquests into the 1989 disaster at the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest match in Sheffield concluded the fans had been unlawfully killed.
Relatives celebrated the news as they emerged from the special meeting, where they had heard the news directly from representatives of the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) on Wednesday morning.
Sue Hemming, head of the special crime and counter-terrorism division, said: “Following our careful review of the evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences.
“Criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”