Why Sheffield Wednesday cannot be charged over Hillsborough

Why Sheffield Wednesday cannot be charged over Hillsborough

15-May-2019 17:17:55 | The Guardian

Wednesday’s then safety officer, Graham Mackrell, has been convicted over the disaster but the club, to the families’ despair, is immune to prosecution

Bereaved Hillsborough families’ last sight of accountability from the football establishment for the deaths of 96 people at an FA Cup semi-final was the then Sheffield Wednesday secretary and safety officer, Graham Mackrell, driving away in a taxi from Preston crown court on Monday having been fined £6,500. Mackrell was convicted of having criminally breached his safety duties when he allocated dangerously few turnstiles – seven – for all 10,100 people with standing tickets to support Kenny Dalglish’s brilliant Liverpool team against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in the sunshine of 15 April 1989.

Mackrell said in a statement after Monday’s sentencing hearing that the judge, Sir Peter Openshaw, had “recognised” that his negligence “did not cause or contribute to” people dying. Openshaw did say that while Mackrell’s criminal offence was not “a direct cause” of the deaths, it was a direct cause of the crush at the turnstiles, which “set the scene” for the deadly crush inside on the terrace’s central pens.

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