The families of the Hillsborough 96 could be denied justice by the government. Again.

Hillsborough Justice
Support us and go ad-free

Some families of the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster may be denied the right to attend the trial of those currently being prosecuted over the 1989 tragedy. Because the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is not allowed to fund expenses for families to travel to the trial unless they’re witnesses. However, the CPS says it is looking into other ways to fund expenses and emphasises that no final decision has been made.

No money

As The Liverpool Echo has reported, some families of Hillsborough victims could face a 170-mile round trip to see the trials of the five people charged with various offences in relation to the Hillsborough disaster.

On Tuesday 15 August, the CPS reportedly told The Liverpool Echo that:

Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, we are not permitted to fund any other expenses, including attendance at court hearings for non-witnesses.

But the CPS also told The Canary:

The CPS is currently considering whether any other expenses might be available outside the usual regulations and families will be updated in due course.

The Liverpool Echo article now appears to have been deleted. If the CPS cannot find another way to fund the expenses, hundreds of the victims’ relatives may not be able to attend.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Some families, meanwhile, claim that the fight for justice has already “financially ruined” them. And Chrissy Burke, whose father Henry died in the disaster, said:

The families have campaigned and fought for 28 years… We are at the last hurdle now and it is so important for the families to be there to witness this and see it through, and for families to be denied any financial support is morally wrong.

Fighting for justice

The government has not yet disclosed the locations of the trials. But they will reportedly be in the north west.

The defendants face the following charges:

  • Sir Norman Bettison, former Merseyside and West Yorkshire Chief Constable: four offences of misconduct in public office.
  • Peter Metcalf, South Yorkshire Police’s Solicitor during the initial Taylor Inquiry: perverting the course of justice.
  • Donald Denton, former South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent: perverting the course of justice.
  • Alan Foster, former South Yorkshire Police Detective Chief Inspector: perverting the course of justice.
  • Graham Mackrell, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s former Company Secretary and Safety Officer: two safety offences and a health and safety offence.

David Duckenfield, Match Commander on the day of the disaster, hasn’t yet been formally charged, but faces 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

The next legal hearings, excluding Duckenfield’s, will take place on 6 September at Preston Crown Court. But sadly, it seems for many of the families that the injustice of the past 28 years may be set to continue.

Correction: This article was updated at 10.30am on Wednesday 16 August to reflect a statement provided by the CPS to The Canary, indicating it was looking into other ways to fund victims’ families’ travel expenses. The article had previously suggested that a final decision on funding had already been made.

Get Involved

Read more from The Canary on Hillsborough.

Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed