STILL NO JUSTICE:
David Duckenfield has been found ‘not guilty’ of manslaughter, in a court case at Preston crown court, claiming the lives of 96 football loving souls. The jury’s verdict was labelled a ‘disgrace’ by Margaret Aspinall who lost her 18 year old son James, in the family’s press conference with the media, this mirrored the thoughts of millions worldwide.
Mr Duckenfield was the chosen match commander of the 1989 FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. His failure on the day of the match caused the death of 96 people, with his inability to control over-crowding outside of the terraces due to the little amount of available entrance turnstiles. The crush, which resulted in 96 fatalities and 766 injuries, remains the worst disaster in British sporting history (the biggest number of fatalities and injuries). The crush occurred in the Leppings Lane Stand, which was allocated for Liverpool supporters. Shortly before kick-off, in an attempt to ease over-crowding outside of the Hillsborough stadium, David Duckenfield ordered exit Gate C to be opened. This lead to an influx of even more supporters to the ‘pens’. Although Mr Duckenfield admitted to the jury, in a previous Hillsborough related court case, that he was probably not the best man for the match commander role. His actions on the day and what followed, are completely inexcusable as he ‘fed’ lies to the media to place the blame onto the Liverpool supporters instead of himself. Mr Duckenfield: was unaware of the crowd capacity at Hillsborough set out in a safety certificate, failed to order his police to monitor the ‘pens’ in which held the supporters and was unseen, by his police, before the match commenced. Thus, it’s clear that David Duckenfield’s failure to prepare for the FA cup semi final of 1989 claimed many lives. Isn’t this manslaughter?. What happened after the tragic day is still to the disturbance of many, Mr Duckenfield ‘fed’ lies to the media in an attempt to place blame onto the bereaved families instead of himself. ‘The Sun’, a few days after the tragic events unfolded, reported the ‘truth’ to David Duckenfield’s pleasure. The sun’s newspaper front-page headline stated : ‘THE TRUTH, some fans picked pockets of victims, some fans urinated on the brave cops, some fans beat up PC who was giving kiss of life’. In the 2016 BBC Hillsborough documentary, policemen explain their displeasure and embarrassment about the force fed lies and state their happiness of the newly found truth. It has also recently became factually evident that Mr Duckenfield told his policemen to not write anything about the day into their log books, immediately after the event. Why would the match commander tell his body of police to do this if he wasn’t being honest about the event?. Sheffield’s head of police completely disagreed with this commanded order and told them to do the opposite ‘note down everything you have done today, even the time you went to the toilet!’. Liverpool fans were deemed ‘not guilty’ for the lives of 96 people, after an extremely long wait, this disproved the sun’s front-page headlines and Mr Duckenfield’s source of comfort. However, if Liverpool fans aren’t guilty then surely David Duckenfield is.
My honest opinion is that the Judge shown sympathy to Mr Duckenfield throughout the court case, to finally be pleased with the verdict of ‘not guilty’. I believe this as the Judge has stated David Duckenfield to be a ‘poor man’, thus showing a sympathetic attitude. I also believe that if Liverpool supporters had shown the same actions towards 96 policemen that the verdict would be ‘guilty’, this proves my belief of the country’s establishment defending the upper class instead of the working class, which is still evident today in a Conservative government run society.