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LFC and the HJC - part 1

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Guest Mottman

In some previous posts I have read on the forum people have been asking whether or not the club recognises the HJC. They do not. I'm a shareholder and I'd like to relate the events of the 1999 LFC Annual General Meeting. The piece originally appeared in Through The Wind and Rain and appears there along with many other articles on Hillsborough and the fight for Justice in the "Classic Articles" section.

After you have had a chance to digest that, I'll post Part 2 tomorrow to tell you about what went on at the 2000 AGM.


Out In The Cold

By Sandra Ireland

From TTWAR, Issue 46, Spring 2000


I am a shareholder. The behaviour of the Liverpool Board shames me. It acts in my name, and what it does is just the same as if I were doing it myself. How would you feel if persons you trusted to act on your behalf had, without your knowledge and certainly without your consent, behaved shamefully towards a respected, honoured group of people who had already suffered much?


I hope you never find out, but I did in March 1999 when I was horrified to discover that the Board of LFC were totally refusing to deal with or even acknowledge the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. That stance is a continual source of distress to bereaved families and survivors who see, in the H.J.C., an organisation that they feel gives them the kind of help and support they so badly need. In October 1998, members of the H.J.C. met with Rick Parry to ask for recognition. They have had neither response nor acknowledgement from him or our club. I was so appalled that I wrote and spoke to Peter Robinson and Rick Parry, asking that the matter be referred to the Board. In May 1999, Mr Parry confirmed that the Board had decided to continue to ignore the H.J.C., while again not having the decency to advise them of this stance.


I could not believe that this shameful decision would be acceptable to other shareholders and I was determined to raise the matter at the Annual General Meeting. On a freezing cold December evening, Steve Dooling (a survivor) and John Glover (a bereaved father) stood outside Anfield, handing out leaflets asking shareholders to persuade the Board to deal decently with the H.J.C. It is sad that only ten years after Hillsborough, our club has no qualms whatsoever in freezing out a survivor and a bereaved father - indeed, reducing them to standing outside like outcasts or beggars, braving the elements.


At the AGM, Peter Robinson answered on behalf of our club. And what an answer it was; astonishingly, on what anyone would surely understand to be a sensitive issue, his manner was aggressive, offensive and brutally dismissive. He said that this was not an appropriate matter for the AGM, and that our club could not be dealing with groups which were "springing up all over the place". He said they could not deal with two groups that had similar or overlapping views, and in any case he could not understand why the Family Support Group had split and why there had to be two groups anyway!


I felt I had to interrupt this flow of arrogant nonsense. I told him this was precisely an appropriate matter for the AGM, because it reflected on the good name of all shareholders and of our club. It was ridiculous to suggest that groups were springing up all over the place - this was clearly untrue, since there are only two. He knew perfectly well why the FSG split: because the Straw/Stuart Smith whitewash was the last straw for people who had long been calling for a proactive stance. He also knows full well that the two groups could not happily blend back together because the FSG had expelled the H.J.C.'s founder members! As for saying Liverpool FC was incapable of dealing with organisations of similar or overlapping views, they do this routinely every day as part of their normal business. In recent years, Liverpool games have been screened live by the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, SKY, Eurosport and numerous foreign networks - apparently, they can deal with different groups if there's money involved???


Ignoring all of this, Robinson blithely restated the Club's position and, after a somewhat stunned silence, David Moores moved the meeting hastily on. No comment, no explanation. Despite Moores, Robinson and the rest of the Board clearly hoping the matter would go away, I was delighted to discover after the meeting that the views I expressed were shared by so many other shareholders present. I was with two members of the H.J.C., Sheila Coleman and the chairman Kevin Robinson, and throughout the remainder of the evening we were continuously approached by shareholders expressing their concern at the situation and their support for the H.J.C. - two were also survivors and they were particularly upset at the Board's stance.


Why has the present situation arisen? Why is the Board behaving so badly? All the H.J.C. are after is an avenue of dialogue with the club, space in the programme from time to time and basically to receive the same treatment that is afforded to the FSG. Oh, and a signed football - the club couldn't even give them that when asked. As several shareholders said, somewhat incredulously, "Is that all?!" Yes, that's all - not a lot really, is it? Our club's rejection wounds and distresses members of the H.J.C. deeply. Its acceptance would mean a great deal. There is no difference between the bereaved of the FSG and the bereaved of the H.J.C. - they have all lost the people they loved. Why should only one group be welcome at Anfield? In October 1998, Rick Parry maintained Liverpool's impartiality; this does not square with the Board's current stance.


The H.J.C. have never asked our club for money - they are self-financed, well-run and well-managed. Volunteers do all this. They have a large and growing membership. They do proven excellent work. They have never insulted or attacked our club. I have heard nothing but silly and fatuous excuses from Rick Parry or Peter Robinson, and I am at a loss to understand why the Board has got itself into this position or what good they think it does our club. Peter Robinson has stated his concerns about the H.J.C. being "political" (whatever that may mean) - does that really excuse their refusal to deal with them? I seem to recall that at one of the Memorial Services at Anfield, Trevor Hicks said the Family Support Group intended to "remain within the political arena". Indeed, Phil Hammond once threatened to stand against George Howarth in Knowsley in protest at the Scrutiny/Whitewash. Since the FSG has on more than one occasion declared itself to be "political", and our club maintains a supportive relationship with them, why is this a perceived obstacle to a similar relationship with the H.J.C.?


What happens now? Well, after the AGM many angry shareholders said they would be contacting our club. David Moores said the Board would be discussing the issue again, so let's wait and see! What can you do? You could contact the H.J.C. or even join them - all are welcome. You could contact our club and tell them what you think. I know I've used that phrase throughout this article but that's what it is: our club. Board members come and go, but supporters are supporters for life. We are its' lifeblood and it ours'. Why should we allow any Bereaved Families or Survivors, who still suffer from injustices inflicted by those outside Anfield, to suffer more pain from further injustices inflicted by those inside Anfield?


© Sandra Ireland 2000/2004


This has been posted with Sandra's permission.

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I think its disgraceful that the club wont recognise the HJC, i was baffled as to why before i read this now i'm even more confused. There is no logic to it and its out of order by the board.


Would flooding the club with letters/emails be helpful?

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Guest Mottman

Here is part 2 as promised.

After the 1999 AGM I decided on another plan of attack, and so on 16th January 2000 I wrote to Jules Burns, the Managing Director of Granada Productions who, because of Granada?s large shareholding, had a seat on the Board, to ask his help. It was a long letter (7 pages with enclosures being the HJC Aims and Objectives and the Message to All Shareholders which was prepared by the HJC and handed out to shareholders as they were going in to the 1999 AGM). The letter explained why I felt it necessary to raise the matter at the AGM, the nature of the HJC and its aims, and drew to his attention the tribute programme their Mr Andy Gill made following the death of Joey Glover (God rest his lovely soul).


I also drew to his attention the very great assistance the Glover family and Joey were to the Granada Media Group in the making of the award winning Jimmy McGovern programme. I wrote ? ? I would earnestly urge you to look to the reputation of the Granada Media Group. I believe the Group is in danger of being seriously compromised given its previous sympathetic and positive treatment of a founder member of the HJC and the HJC itself last May, its close connections with the Glover family and the brutal treatment taking place in its name as a shareholder now.?


Exactly a month to the day, on 16th February Mr Burns wrote back saying, amongst other things ?Andy Gill and his colleagues therefore do seek out comment and information from the HJC, as representative of some of the most closely affected parties, and will, no doubt, continue to do so as our coverage continues and follows the course of events.? He described my letter as ?thoughtful?, said he was discussing my correspondence with the Club and said ?that either Rick Parry and I will write to you again.? He has never written to me since.


On 14th April (yes, April) Rick Parry wrote to me and advised me that the Board had not changed its stance but that it had asked him to write to me explaining why that was the case. He said he was preparing a draft for approval by the Board and ?then be adapted by the other Directors.?


On 16th May Rick Parry wrote back. The Board?s stance remained unchanged. Part of his letter read:


?Now the HJC, which has similar objectives to the Hillsborough Family Support Group but very different strategies, is seeking formal acknowledgment or recognition by the Club. This poses two very real questions for the Club:


How can it sensibly offer equal status to an emergent group, alongside an existing group in whom the Club retains confidence, when in practice the two will often be in conflict? It will inevitably follow that the Club becomes cast in the role of peace-keeper or arbitrator and it is hard to see of what possible benefit this is to victims. It will also create confusion and lead to a potential loss of public sympathy.


How many groups should be acknowledged in the way that you seek? Should the Club recognise every group with similar objectives but different approaches? Imagine the position if a third group emerges next year or even a fourth. Or, indeed if a number of individuals seek a similar acknowledgement of their positions.


In giving careful consideration to these questions the Board has formed the view that the appropriate course is to acknowledgement one group.


It is unfortunate that two groups now exist but the Board has no wish to diminish, challenge or comment on the work of the HJC. Nor does it hold anything other than the utmost sympathy and respect for individual victims and their families.?


Realising it was pointless to argue that the Club has no problems dealing with a vast variety of agents, press and television companies and sponsors I made no reply.


However, determined not to let the matter rest, on 23rd August 2000 I wrote to Bryce Morrison saying that I wanted a formal item placed on the agenda for the forthcoming AGM proposing that the Club acknowledges and deals fully in all regards with the HJC, and asking his guidance as to how this should be done. I said I wanted the item to be on a free vote so proxies may speak, and said it was my intention to call John Glover together with others of the bereaved and survivors to speak. I also requested that a statement of my case be sent to all shareholders prior to the meeting so those unable to attend be enabled to nominate me as their proxy in the unfortunate case that the Board maintains its (in my view) untenable position.


Mr Morrison wrote back to me on 4th October saying that his legal advice was that it was possible for shareholders to move resolutions under Section 376 of the Companies Act and enclosing a copy of that Section. Six weeks notice had to be given and the relevant members had to pay a ?sufficient sum to the company to meet the costs.? Reading the Section, I realised that there was no possible way to meet the requirements in time for the six weeks notice to be properly given. A kind person may have thought that Mr Morrison is a very busy man and it took time for him to obtain his legal advice. An unkind person may have thought that Mr Morrison ran me out of time.


However, I realised that I should, in fact, save myself the trouble, as Mr Morrison then went on to say:


?I hope the above is helpful to you and whilst there appears to be a way in which you and other members could move a resolution, I would remind you that there are shareholders who hold between them shares representing more than one half of the total voting rights attaching to all shares, who have indicated to me that they would be likely to vote against such a resolution. I say this, not in an attempt to dissuade you from taking steps, but merely to ensure that you know what to expect.?


Mr Moores holds 51% Granada holds 10%


So, come December, off I went to the AGM accompanied by Sheila Coleman and John and Teresa Glover as my proxies (Kevin Robinson was ill and unable to come). At the call for Any Other Business I was the first to speak. I reminded the meeting of the events of the AGM last year, and reminded them of the continuing excellent work of the HJC. I dealt at length with the matters contained in the letter from Rick Parry and then went on to advise them that I had tried to get an agenda item on for debate and the response I had received.


I reminded them of who the majority shareholders were, and advised them that I had with me a bereaved mother and father. I then walked directly in front of Mr Moores and asked him if he would now please tell John and Teresa why he personally refused to allow the Club to acknowledge the HJC, because his continued refusal was causing them pain. He stared at me and refused to answer. Now, I have to confess that many years ago, somebody said to me ?You don?t DO anger management do you?? Two years of frustration of having my (sometimes pleading) correspondence ignored and being told absolute rubbish boiled over, and it was at this point that I shoved the microphone virtually up David Moores? nose and shouted ?Answer me, go on, answer? three times. (Sheila said afterwards that I sounded like Judge Judy - oh dear!). He looked at me like a cod on a fishmonger?s slab (or, as one Mr Steven Kelly put it, like a rabbit caught in the headlights) and still refused to answer. Someone said ?Are you finished? and I said ?For now?. I stood back and Rick Parry stood up and calmly announced that the stance of the Board was unchanged.


A terrible scream rang out. It was Teresa Glover, and she started to flee the room in tears. I dropped the microphone and rushed after her, narrowly missing tripping over Phil Thompson and Sammy Lee, their mouths agape in horror. I saw Teresa making for the door, faced by a steward with outstretched arms as if to grab hold of her. I yelled ?Don?t you touch her. Don?t you dare touch her?. He dropped his arms and stood back, doubtless thinking ?Sod this for £4.50 an hour?. Teresa stopped and I was able to coax her back to her seat in time to hear both John Glover and Sheila Coleman giving the Board the benefit of their views (and proxies aren?t allowed to speak - oh dear again).


Unsurprisingly there was no other business, and the meeting closed.


For the first time I can remember, Mr Moores and the Board did not come to the reception afterwards to mingle with the rabble (Mr Moores obviously deciding to drink like a fish and sweat like a pig elsewhere).


Anyway, we all determinedly stayed at the reception to the bitter end, and then took ourselves back to Gerry McIver?s house where we told unsuitable jokes and did serious damage to his whisky. The best part of the entire night was Gerry saying of Teresa ?You know, that?s the first time I?ve heard that poor woman laugh.?


At the 2001 AGM, the minutes say ?However the Club was not prepared to tolerate the abuse and disorder of the last two years. ?. The Chairman stressed that no further discussion on rival justice organisations or on topics outside Club or football matters would be heard.?


So there you are!


© Sandra Ireland 2001/2004

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Guest Mottman
I bought the KOP yesterday and had a good read of it, especially the stories about the kop. :)

Was my story in it then?

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i remembe reading them articles in the TTWAR and felt disgust for the board over this..........i have to tread to carefully were i work as i work with people involved in the HFSG and i have said to them that they should help the HJC get some recognition off the board........well cant repeat what was said, but it does my head in as someone who was lucky to get out the leppings lane that the club dont want to help the HJC as they help the HFSG.........the club sweeping things under the table if you ask me

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Anyone still want to say how great our board of Directors are?


Fecking shame on them. They are too afraid to take a stance IMO, as they fear that a can of works could unravel if they do and it would affect the club financially. There can be no other ereason for this behaviour. Just like they are afraid to take a stance against the S*n for fear of the bad press they would get.


Next time people want to harp on about having faith in our wonderful board and in football's answer to Nero, just think about what Mottman has just written. :rant:

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This whole thing stinks to high heaven.


They have time to negotiate multimillion pound deals with reebok and sit around their tables in plush offices but they haven't the guts to show some support to some fans in their hour of need.


I'm disgusted with Moores, Parry, the board of directors after reading that. I hope Moores considers his position at the end of the season because a different chairman might be the only way for the HJC to get the recognition it deserves.

I'd be very interested to know what Steve Morgan's take on this is...or if he is of the same opinion as the rest of them.

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This whole thing stinks to high heaven.


They have time to negotiate multimillion pound deals with reebok and sit around their tables in plush offices but they haven't the guts to show some support to some fans in their hour of need.


I'm disgusted with Moores, Parry, the board of directors after reading that. I hope Moores considers his position at the end of the season because a different chairman might be the only way for the HJC to get the recognition it deserves.

I'd be very interested to know what Steve Morgan's take on this is...or if he is of the same opinion as the rest of them.

As I've just mentioned in another post, how can people really have faith in our Chairman, CEO and board if they behave like this?

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Excuse my naivety but why are there two support groups for the families of Hillsborough. Don't flame me but I've never heard of the FSG although i have heard the name Trevor Hicks.


Anyone ?

Along similar lines ... excuse my ignorance but what are the fundamental differences between HFSG and HJC?

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It's a big question and one I am not qualified to answer fully but it is about the continued fihght for justice...


I was very disappointed with Trevor Hicks at last years memorial service

what did Trevor Hicks say Kev ? Kev ? I mean Vic... :oops:

Edited by RedShift
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Guest Mottman

Background to the trial


In June 2000 in Leeds Crown Court a Private Prosecution began against David Duckenfield, chief superintendent in charge of policing at Hillsborough on April 15th 1989, and his deputy superintendent Bernard Murray who was in control of the control room at the ground.


It is safe to say that the prosecution would not have come about if not for the formation of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. The HJC was formed by families, survivors and supporters in February 1998.


In response to this the Hillsborough Family Support Group set up an associate membership (previously only families were able to join) for survivors though they could not attend meetings and were granted no voting rights.


The HFSG had to do something as the grass roots mood in Liverpool was for something to happen as the 10th anniversary of the disaster approached. Particularly after the money raised by the Manic Street Preachers Justice concert - £1M said the newspapers, £400,000 after everyone took their cut said the HFSG. By the 10th anniversary this money had been spent as Phil Hammond of the HFSG requested football players to make donations.


The private prosecution has been orchestrated by solicitor Anne Addlington (a Liverpool City Council employee, seconded to generally work with Hillsborough families - which amounted to creating deep divisions and instigating infighting). In June 1998 the informations were laid out against Duckenfield and Murray in Sefton (Liverpool) magistrates court. The two ex-policemen's legal representatives sought from the beginning to stop the prosecution due to "Abuse of Process" - suggesting that after 10 years of public debate no fair trial was necessary. The trial was moved from Liverpool to Leeds to be ruled over by Justice Hooper.


Justice Hooper made it known to the prosecution (the HFSG) his previous role as an advisor to the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to Hillsborough (remember they found insufficient evidence to prosecute anyone over the deaths of 96 football fans). He even offered to step down as trial judge - the prosecuting counsel declined his offer - the first of many weak capitulations.


background | the counts | prejudged | trial | verdict | statement


The Counts against Duckenfield and Murray

Counts one and two - Manslaughter for failure to prevent the crush after the gates were opened by failing to prevent access to and divert fans from the tunnel leading to the already full pens 3 and 4.

Count three - Misconduct in Public Office

Count four - Perverting the Course of Justice. Only laid against Duckenfield and dropped after intervention by the Attorney General.

Count five - Misconduct, again only Duckenfield. Arising out of his lie that gate C had been forced open by Liverpool fans when in fact it was he that ordered it open.


During the course of the trial the case was reduced to one count of manslaughter.


background | the counts | prejudged | trial | verdict | statement


Pre Trial Ruling - setting the rules

The Judge, Justice Hooper, was asked to prevent the trial from taking place by the defence (Duckenfield and Murray) because they held there would be no fair trial (under European Convention of Human Rights (sic)), the prosecution is too oppressive, pre-trial publicity had been such that no fair trial was possible and that because of the delay the trial would not be fair.


On 16th February Justice Hooper prepared a Ruling outlining the circumstances in which he would allow the trial to go ahead after hearing arguments from the prosecution and defence. This is very significant for a number of reasons.


1. The trial would go ahead satisfying the HFSG and demonstrating that, even after all this time, the state was doing something - BUT only by it's rules.


2. Justice Hooper chronologised a selective history of 'key events' surrounding Hillsborough over the last ten years. For example the Jimmy McGovern documentary is in there, as is the Manic Street Preachers song SYMM - these are cited as having an influence on the fairness of the trial. What is NOT included is The S*n's article days after the disaster which so chastised Liverpool football fans and paved the way for the inquest in which "drunken Liverpool hooligans" were implicitly blamed for the disaster. The S*n 'obviously' didn't feature as adverse "pre-trial publicity" for the coppers' defence.


3. The ruling enabled Justice Hooper to put a ban on any publicity which in his opinion would prejudice the trial under the Contempt of Court Act. The HFSG and their legal team took it upon themselves to police this - no doubt in total fear that the flimsy case would be put in jeopardy if THEY pointed out something Justice Hooper didn't like. What this in reality amounted to was a ruling in which the HFSG could gag anyone but themselves from saying anything about Hillsborough. The contradictions and tragically stupid situations that arose can be read in more depth here. The HFSG were handed a court given monopoly on talking about Hillsborough - which they used on the eve of the eleventh anniversary to get Justice Hooper to place a Court Order against other bereaved families, preventing this, the HJC's website launching.


Justice Hooper then went through legal precedents to answer the defence's argument that no fair trial is possible. The video evidence recorded by the BBC and Police CCTV was cited as reason enough that the delay (11 years) from the actual event should not prevent the trial arising. He then thought that his own ruling silencing the media and selective questioning of the jury would deal with the adverse publicity angle. Then came the icing on the cake, or maybe it should read the prosecution's utter capitulation.


In regards to the prosecution being too oppressive on the poor souls of Duckenfield and Murray the defence argued that it was "prompted by a distorted and misrepresented view of the facts (Jimmy McGovern's drama documentary). In response Hooper decided on this:


"In this case neither the defendant's or members of their family have given evidence but I have no difficulty in inferring that they must be suffering a considerable amount of strain. They are likely to have thought following the verdict of the jury in the Coroners' enquiry in 1991, if not earlier, that a prosecution was, at the very least, very unlikely..."


"The thought of being convicted for a serious offence of manslaughter must be a strain on anybody. However, and I can say from my own experience of defending in criminal cases over many years, it is the thought of prison which, for most defendants, is the greatest worry."


"For police officers or ex-police officers the threat of prison has even more significance than for others. These two defendants, if sentenced to prison for the manslaughter of, in effect, 96 people be necessarily be at considerable risk of serious injury if not death at the hands of those who feel very strongly about Hillsborough."


"Doing my best to resolve the competing interests of the defendants and the public, I have decided that there is an alternative to a stay (halting the prosecution). I conclude that the oppression is not such as to prevent the trial from taking place but that I should now reduce to a significant extent the anguish being suffered by these defendants. I do that by making it clear that the two defendants. will not immediately lose their liberty should they be convicted. This is, I accept, a highly unusual course, but this is a highly unusual case. When I canvassed this possibility with Mr, Jones (prosecuting counsel) he fairly and helpfully drew my attention to evidence that the families were not, apparently, seeking punishment of this kind (page 6 of transcript of evidence of Miss Addlington before the Stipendiary Magistrate)."


So here we have it, as early as June 1998, Miss Addlington took it upon herself to undemocratically put across the view, recorded in court, that the families of those who died at Hillsborough don't want to see the cops go down, if convicted of manslaughter. And the judge held her to her word! It is from this moment on, (June 1998) that the trial could only ever be a Show Trial. It's worth stating the obvious here - the families involved in the HJC completely disagree with Miss Addlington on this one, the views of the families in the HFSG (who have been kept in the dark about this tacit agreement we know for a fact) are never democratically expressed so we can't clearly speculate but ask yourself this:


Your child dies at a football match due to total mismanagement of crowd control shall we say. Those is a position of public responsibility are brought to book for it BUT they will not be subject to the same laws as you would be if you were in the dock. Why? Because YOUR solicitor has agreed, without asking you, that they wont face the same punishment expected for the crime. Now multiply that by 96.


There is a law for them and a law for us. It is under these circumstances. Which no one was able to report on. That the trial began in June 2000.


background | the counts | prejudged | trial | verdict | statement


The Trial

The private prosecutions of David Duckenfield and Bernard Murray proceeded much as expected within the limited acceptable parameters of restricted evidence.


Some of the stupid things surrounding the trial opening can be read here


As previously stated the HJC had grave concerns when it realised that no evidence after 3.06p.m. on the day of this disaster was to be heard. This was even more restrictive than the coroner's 3.15 p.m. cut off.Alun Jones Q.C. for the prosecution gave evidence to show that David Duckenfield had tried to blame the fans for the disaster. He called Graham Kelly formerly of the F.A. to support his assertion that Duckenfield had lied both to Kelly and other officials by saying that fans had burst the gate open when, in fact, he had ordered the opening of the gate himself. He stated:


Duckenfield deceitfully and dishonestly concealed from those men that he had himself ordered the exit gates opened.


Jones also told the court that the tragedy need never have happened if the defendants had ordered officers to block or close off the tunnel to pens 3 and 4. He also stated that football-goers had:


surrendered responsibility for their personal safety to the controlling police officers as completely as we do to a pilot and his co-pilot when we board a plane.


The first witness called by the prosecution was a survivor who had escaped from the crushing. He emphasised the tremendous pressure that was put on him and others as they were propelled through the tunnel following the opening of the gate. This evidence would later be used by counsel for the defence as an example of the 'unknown phenomena' in the tunnel that had caused the disaster. Other survivors were called including a high court judge, Sir Maurice Kay. Several police officers gave evidence favourable to the prosecution. A key witness was Roger Houldsworth a former employee of Sheffield Wednesday. Houldsworth was monitoring crowd flow into the ground on the day of the disaster. He told the court that he heard a message on a police radio saying that if a gate outside the stadium was not opened someone would be killed. He said he heard a reply:"open the gate".


Counsel for David Duckenfield announced that he (Duckenfield) would not be giving evidence in person, instead a statement was admitted. Mr Clegg Q.C. proceeded to call a number of local residents all of whom gave a variety of evidence to the effect that there had been a large number of latecomers with drink. Bernard Murray did take the stand and stated from the witness box how traumatised he has been by the effects of that day. He also stated that he feels so much for the families who lost loved ones. His counsel, Mr Harrison, also called two character witnesses. Interestingly, it was Mr Justice Hooper who called the former police officer who had previously been in charge of policing Hillsborough, Mr Mole. Called as an 'expert witness' he told how, in his considered and 'expert' opinion the disaster had been caused by hooliganism. In summary, the private prosecution was defended within the familiar context of drunkeness, ticketlessness and lateness.


Suming up

Before the prosecution began summing up, Mr Justice Hooper outlined four questions that the jury had to consider when trying to reach a decision. They were:


Are you sure that it was forseable by a reasonable match commander that by letting people in through the gates that there would be deaths in pens 3 and 4? If the answer to this question was yes then they had to proceed to question two which was:

Are you sure there were effective steps could have been taken to close the tunnel? Yes? Then:

Failure to take such steps was negligent as a reasonable match commander would have done so. Yes?

With regard to the risk involved, the failure to take such steps led to the serious criminal offence of manslaughter.

N.B. If the answer to Q.1 was 'no', then the verdict must be not guilty.


Prosecution Summing up.

Alun Jones Q.C. began his summing up on the 12th July. He emphasised the number of people that would have entered into the ground once gate C had been opened. ItWas estimated at 2,200 people. Pens 3 and 4 were already full, given that there was stewarding of the area then probably over half would have gone through the tunnel.Jones stated that it was the prosecutions case that the officers 'didn't think'. Spectators were seen as a 'security problem'. The mindset throughout the events on that day was such that the officers didn't recognises a safety issue. He said that the mindset throughout was best summed up by one word ? NEGLECT. This mindset also demonstrated the officers attitude which viewed fans as hooligans. He stated that safety and order are other sides of the same coin but the defendants recognised only one side of the coin over a period of twenty six minutes:


The mindset of these officers was that these people were a problem?[this was]slow-motion negligence.


He pointed out that the defence had offered little in the way of defence in respect of evidence which highlighted the build up of fans outside the ground. He asked the question 'why'?


With regard to the overfull pens and the emerging crisis, Jones argued that the prosecution had brought evidence to show that from all corners of the ground people could see the chaos and overcrowding- the police in the control box were in the best position to see that chaos and overcrowding plus they had the advantage of knowing that Gate C had been opened.


Specifically in respect of the issue of forseability Jones argued that given the fact that it could be seen that pens 3 and 4 were full, then a reasonable match commander would have foreseen that a consequence of opening gate C and allowing entrance then there would be an obvious risk of death. He repeated the prosecution case that Duckenfield had deliberately misled officials by stating that fans had burst gate C open. He also said that Duckenfields' argument that it was the responsibility of the club to control the volume of people in the pens was ridiculous given that the hadn't even informed the club that the gate had been opened. Jones stated that when Duckenfield misled Graham Kelly about the opening of gate C he was playing what Jones referred to as 'the Heysel card, the hooligan card'. He went on to say that this card was also played by Mr Mole when he gave evidence.


He repeated the prosecution case that Duckenfield is responsible for the deaths of 96 people because he failed to seal off the tunnel.


Jones tried to put pay to the argument of drunkeness and late arrivals. He argued that it was a controlled entry into the ground. He berated the defence for calling local residents to give petty evidence about the fans:


What has urinating in gardens got to do with the cause of this disaster at all.


The evidence of senior police officers was heavily criticised. In particular the evidence of Mr Mole who, he says, gave disgraceful evidence in court. He went on to describe him as a 'stooge' for the defence. Inspector Goddard, who had been in the control room was described as 'partisan'.


Jones argued that in answer to all four question that the jury had to consider they should answer 'yes' on all four counts. He stated that the jury were in a position to act because although 'we haven't looked at what happened after 3.06p.m. ? 'the truth has been told here in Leeds, eleven years on'



Mr Clegg, counsel for Duckenfield began his summing up by stating that:


David Duckenfield never unlawfully killed those 96 people anymore than did anyone in that control box?.How he must curse the promotion that handed him that poison chalice of Hillsborough.


He categorically stated that the events at Hillsborough were: 'unprecedented, unforeseable and unique'. He said the words 'if only' must haunt Duckenfield?if only someone had told me the pens were overcrowded, if only I'd not won promotion, if only anyone had realised the terraces were a death trap'. He stated that this trial was misconceived, that the causes of the disaster are more than two people, they are: 'a conglomeration of many unforeseen events'.


In answer to the questions to be considered by the jury he argued that they should answer 'no' on all counts. He stated that the events were not foreseable:


If anyone could have foreseen [the disaster] it would never have happened.


He said that death was not foreseen because the terraces were perceived to be inherently safe. They had been used safely for over a hundred years. There was a safety certificate saying the ground was safe.


Cleggs' summing up was based around the idea that what happened at Hillsborough that afternoon was:


A physical phenomena that no one could have predicted and to this day that no one can explain.


He went on to say that the disaster did not occur because gate C was opened rather the disaster happened because:


people left the tunnel with such speed and force that people on the terrace were crushed to death. That is why people died.


Moreover, Duckenfied cannot be guilty unless it was reasonable for him to foresee that people would exit the tunnel with that force.


Clegg went on to do use the evidence of prosecution witnesses to create the picture of lateness, drunkeness and ticketlessness. #Central to his argument that the jury must return a 'not guilty' verdict was his argument that the decision to open gate C was made in a moment of crisis - there was not the time to consider all the consequences of opening that gate.


In concluding his impressive summing up he said:


David Duckenfield is a good, honest man who gives his time to others.This tragedy has ruined many lives?it has left its mark on him.


Mr Harrison for Mr Murray began his summing by stating that it was:


Wrong, wrong and wrong again to seek solace in the prosecution of the man I represent.


He emphasised Mr Murray's story As witnessed when he gave evidence:


You are trying a thoroughly decent, honourable man.


He went on to state that:


People who entered the ground after 2.52p.m. acted in such a way as to cause the deaths of those people.


He stated that the prosecution case was superficial and simplistic.


Cleverly Mr Harrison argued the prevailing attitude to football and hooliganism when the disaster occurred. This enabled him to comment:


It was hooliganism in football in general which led to the 96 deaths in what we now know to be death traps?.I'm not saying that the Liverpool fans who had no tickets and who were trying to get in were the same kind of hooligans. They probably just thought it was a scam.


He endorsed Cleggs submission that the prosecution fails at the first question?'it was not foreseable?it is not negligent to make a mistake.


He said that Mr Murray should not be judged in the context of hindsight. He finished by stating:


Events of the magnitude of Hillsborough don't usually happen for one single reason nor can it be pinned on one individual. A whole set of circumstance came together for a whole variety of reasons in a deadly combination?You are asked to convict Bernard Murray - if you did you would be making him a scapegoat.


The Judge then effectively repeated the defence summing up!


background | the counts | prejudged | trial | verdict | statement



Not Gulity for Murray, the Jury could not agree on Duckenfield. Read our verdict here!


background | the counts | prejudged | trial | verdict | statement


Hillsborough Justice Campaign Press Release on the Trial of Duckenfield and Murray.

Two ex police officers have faced trial for manslaughter. One has been acquitted and in the case of the other (Duckenfield), the Jury could not agree. At least there were some people on the Jury who could see the charade that masquerades as British Justice.


Has justice been done? Has justice been seen to be done?


No. It was a show trial.


The Prosecution alleged that, "The Truth has been told here in Leeds, 11 years on, for the first time." We disagree. The Truth about Hillsborough has once more been hidden.


Any manslaughter trial with no pictures of dead bodies is a show trail. The idea that people didn't die after 3.06pm when the referee blew his whistle has nothing to do with medical fact. Such an artificially imposed "cut off" point could only come about in a show trial. And this trial has been even more restrictive than The Coroner's inquests, which imposed a 3.15pm cut off point.


Admissible evidence about Hillsborough in British Courts is now less than it was 11 years ago.


This trial became a show trial when it was agreed only to proceed on the basis that if the defendants were to be found guilty they would NOT go to prison for manslaughter. A predetermined sentence stinks of a show trial.


These verdicts are not justice because the facts about Hillsborough were not admissible in this show trial. 96 people were killed at Hillsborough, hundreds were physically injured, numerous suicides can be directly linked to Hillsborough and literally thousands have been traumatised by their experience of that day.


Hillsborough is a much bigger miscarriage of justice than two officers being offered up as a gesture of compromise to have their wrists slapped.


The bereaved families of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign will continue to fight their own cases without compromise, with the aim of having the true facts of Hillsborough officially recorded. We know that this will take a long time. We are used to waiting.


We do not see today as any kind of victory or defeat. This show trial did nothing to bring out the truth of Hillsborough. In fact, it further entrenched the lies of Hillsborough within the annals of legal history.


For those of you who wish to know the facts, take a look at our web site: www.contrast.org/hillsborough


Told by people who were there at Hillsborough, people whose children died at Hillsborough, people who have struggled for 11 years and are STILL fighting for justice.


"One owes respect to the living. To the dead one owes only the truth."Voltaire

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I wont quote it but cheers for the bit of info above. I still don't understand about cut off times but I'd better do some work instead :wacko:


I fully understand why those families who formed the HJC feel like they were sold down the river.


I remember at the time thinking the trial was a farce but I didn't realise how much of that was down to the Prosecution !!!!

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