An inquest into Britain’s worst sporting disaster has ruled that police failures were to blame for the
“unlawful killing” of 96 Liverpool football fans.
I want to apologise unreservedly to the families and those affected.
The tragedy happened in 1989 at the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Relatives of the victims sang the Liverpool anthem, “You’ll never walk alone” outside the court in northern England.
Police had tried to blame some of the fans who they said were aggressive and drunk.
Charlotte Hennessy’s father was killed in the disaster.
“My Dad has always been an innocent victim, as has every other Liverpool fan, which has been proved today,” she told reporters, “They were not responsible for the cause of the disaster, they did not contribute to the cause of the disaster.”
The inquest found that senior police commanders had edited their officers’ witness statements to paint them in a less damaging light.
The chief constable from South Yorkshire police, David Crompton, addressed reporters after the verdit was announced.
“On 15 April 1989, South Yorkshire Police got the policing of the FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough catastrophically wrong,” said Crompton. “It was and still is the biggest disaster in British sporting history. I want to apologise unreservedly to the families and those affected”
The victims died inside an overcrowded, fenced-in enclosure at the Hillsborough stadium.
Images of young fans crushed against metal fences, bodies lying on the pitch and spectators using advertising hoardings as makeshift stretchers horrified the nation.