Hillsborough: no verdict on Duckenfield
3 April 2019, 14:19 | Updated: 3 April 2019, 14:22
The jury in the trial of David Duckenfield, the match commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, has failed to reach a verdict and he now faces a retrial.
However, former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 69, was found guilty on Wednesday of failing to discharge his duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Around 60 family members gathered at the Cunard building in Liverpool as the jury foreman told the court they could not reach a verdict for Mr Duckenfield on which they were all agreed.
The 74-year-old retired chief superintendent for South Yorkshire Police was accused of the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans at the FA Cup semi-final between the club and Nottingham Forest on 15 April, 1989. He denied all the charges.
He was not charged over the death of the 96th victim Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.
Judge Sir Peter Openshaw had given jurors at Preston Crown Court a majority direction on Monday afternoon, telling them he would accept verdicts on which at least 10 of them were agreed.
He told the jury of six men and six women there was no pressure of time but said if they reached a stage where there was "no possibility" of them agreeing on verdicts they must let him know.
Jurors were discharged by the judge on after failing to reach a verdict on the manslaughter charge against Mr Duckenfield on the eighth day of their deliberations after a 10-week trial.
They had deliberated for 29 hours and six minutes.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it would be seeking a retrial for the case in respect of Mr Duckenfield.
Sue Hemming, director of legal services for the CPS, said: "We have discussed the matter carefully with counsel and I can confirm the CPS will seek a retrial against Mr Duckenfield for manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 men, women and children.
She said the CPS had remained in regular contact with the families affected by the Hillsborough disaster throughout the proceedings and spoke with those present in Preston and Liverpool before informing the court of its decision.
The Officer in charge of Operation Resolve, the investigation into the disaster, Assistant Commissioner Rob Beckley, said: "We recognise how challenging this process is for all concerned and will continue to keep people informed and updated, especially the families of the victims."
Mackrell was accused of failing to take reasonable care particularly in respect of ensuring there were enough turnstiles to prevent unduly large crowds building up.
The court heard there were seven turnstiles for the 10,100 Liverpool fans with standing tickets.
The case was adjourned until 2pm.