PRESTON, England (Reuters) – A jury at the trial of a former police chief in charge of operations at the 1989 Hillsborough soccer stadium crush that killed 96 Liverpool supporters failed on Wednesday to reach a verdict on whether he was guilty of manslaughter, the BBC said.
The jury at Preston Crown Court failed to reach a decision on charges of manslaughter by gross negligence against David Duckenfield after a 10-week trial and eight days of deliberation, the BBC reported.
It said the Crown Prosecution Service has indicated it will seek a retrial of Duckenfield, who denied the charges.
The jury did, however, find former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell guilty of a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The victims died in an overcrowded, fenced-in enclosure, at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, northern England – the home of the Sheffield Wednesday club – during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
The jury had heard that 96 died as a result of a crush.
However, under the law at the time, there could be no prosecution for the 96th victim as he died over a year after the tragedy.
Police at first blamed the disaster on drunken fans, an explanation that was always rejected by survivors, relatives of the victims and the wider Liverpool community. Families spent decades campaigning for justice for the 96.
(Reporting by Phil Noble; writing by James Davey; editing by Michael Holden and Ken Ferris)