Criminal charges are to be brought over the deaths of 96 football fans at a game in Sheffield 28 years ago, it was announced this morning.
The Crown Prosecution Service today revealed that six individuals are to face charges over the disaster at Hillsborough football stadium in 1989 in which fans were crushed to death in pens at the Leppings Lane end after a gate was opened to allow crowds of fans outside to flood in.
Families of the 96 men, women and children killed in the crush were informed of the charging decisions by Sue Hemming, the CPS's head of special crime and counter-terrorism division, in a private meeting earlier this morning.
At 11.30am Ms Hemming made the charging decisions public after reviewing files from Operation Resolve, which investigated the causes of the disaster, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which looked at an alleged police cover up in the aftermath of the disaster.
The documents, relating to 23 suspects, including individuals and organisations, were passed to the CPS earlier this year.
Last year new inquests into the deaths of the Liverpool fans ruled that they were unlawfully killed in the disaster, which happened at an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest.
Former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, match commander on the day of the disaster is charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club Secretary at the time, Graham Mackrell, is charged with contravention of terms of the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975.
Sir Norman Bettison, a former chief inspector and superintendent with South Yorkshire Police and subsequently Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police, is charged with four counts of misconduct in public office relating to alleged lies about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the culpability of Liverpool fans.
Peter Metcalf, the solicitor acting for South Yorkshire Police in 1989, is charged with perverting the course of justice. He is alleged to have made material changes to police officers’ accounts.
Former Chief Superintendent Donald Denton, and former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster are charged with perverting the course of justice over their alleged involvement in the statement amendment process.
IPCC Deputy Chairman, Rachel Cerfontyne, said: “The CPS has announced charging decisions on six of the eight suspects formally referred by the IPCC in January this year.
"We have also referred a further two individuals. We will be working closely with the CPS on the prosecution case and will provide any further assistance necessary while decisions on the remaining IPCC files are under consideration.
“Following criminal proceedings, we will consider whether any former police officers, including all of those referred to the CPS for a charging decision, would have had cases to answer for misconduct if they were still serving. The evidence supporting these findings will be set out in the final investigation report.”