New revelations emerged on the Hillsborough disaster and a jury has concluded that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed.
For 27 years, the families of those who lost their lives watched as the memories of their loved ones were smeared and those who caused their deaths refused to accept responsibility.
But the families of the 96 people who died were finally told that woeful policing was responsible to their needless deaths – and the football fans who died were not to blame.
Relatives of those who perished in the 1989 stadium disaster during the FA Cup match on April 15, 1989 between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool sobbed and held hands as an inquests jury exonerated the supporters and at last held police to account for their failings and the extraordinary cover-up which followed.
You May Also Like: Liverpool Set to Pursue Memphis Depay
Prime Minister David Cameron issued an apology on behalf of the British government following the panel’s conclusion, after the 2012 report showed police and emergency services had made “strenuous attempts” to blame the disaster on the Liverpool fans.
Barry Devonside, who lost his only son Christopher, 18, in the Hillsborough disaster said: ‘Today we gained the confidence from the jury that what we’ve tried to do for 27 years is to bring justice for those who never went home.’
He added: ‘I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would get this decision. I always hoped and dreamt that we would get this decision. I’m glad we did. We did our best – we couldn’t do any more.’ He said the conclusions delivered by the jury were ‘far more than expected’, adding: ‘I’m so, so pleased’.
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has welcomed the Hillsborough verdict and described it as “the greatest miscarriage of justice of our time”.
“This has been the greatest miscarriage of justice of our times. But, finally, it is over,” he said in a statement. “After 27 long years, this is real justice for the 96, their families and all Liverpool supporters. The survivors of this tragedy can finally be remembered for what they were on that day – the heroes of Hillsborough who tried to help their fellow fans.
“The Hillsborough Independent Panel gave us the truth. This Inquest has delivered justice. Next must come accountability. For 27 years, this police force has consistently put protecting itself above protecting those hurt by the horror of Hillsborough. People must be held to account for their actions and prosecutions must now follow.
“Disgracefully, lawyers for retired police have attempted to continue the cover-up in this courtroom. They made it an adversarial battle in defiance of the Lord Chief Justice’s ruling. This has been brutal on the Hillsborough families and put them through hell once again. The current leadership of South Yorkshire Police needs to explain why it went back on its 2012 apology at this Inquest, prolonging the agony for the families.
“The sense of relief we feel is tempered by the knowledge that this day has taken far too long in coming. The struggle for justice has taken too great a toll on too many. But the Hillsborough families have at long last prevailed and finally their loved-ones can rest in peace.”