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Hillsborough trial: No verdict on match commander as club secretary found guilty

Sky News logo Sky News 4/3/2019

a man wearing a suit and tie: David Duckenfield may face a retrial as Graham Mackrell is found guilty © PA David Duckenfield may face a retrial as Graham Mackrell is found guilty 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.

Fan in despair after the Hillsborough Disaster © PA Fan in despair after the Hillsborough 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.

A wreath paying tribute to victims of the Hillsborough disaster at the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield © Getty A wreath paying tribute to victims of the Hillsborough disaster at the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield They had deliberated for 29 hours and six minutes.

Prosecutors are seeking a retrial.

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.

NOW SEE: From Hillsborough to the sinking of the Titanic - 20 moments that rocked Britain (Mirrorpix)

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