The trial of two former police officers and a police solicitor accused of perverting the course of justice following the Hillsborough disaster, began this week.

On trial are retired police chief superintendent Donald Denton, 83, Alan Foster, 74, a retired Detective Chief Inspector, and Peter Metcalf, 71, a former solicitor for the police force.

The trial began on Monday 19 April at the Nightingale court, moved temporarily to the Lowry Theatre in Salford.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of amending police statements related to Hillsborough.

The charges follow the IOPC’s investigation into police actions during and after the disaster.

A panel of 12 jurors were selected and sworn in on Tuesday.

The current trial of Donald Denton, Alan Foster, 74, and Peter Metcalf, was delayed last year for undisclosed reasons.

They each deny two counts of perverting the course of justice.

The trial is expected to last 16 weeks.

Pleas were entered just days after the 32nd anniversary of the 1989 tragedy, which was marked across Liverpool.

A city-wide silence was held on Thursday April 15 at 3:04pm to mark the moment that the match was halted 32 years ago.

Tributes were paid by LFC staff and players, including Sir Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool manager at the time of the tragedy.

Flags across the city flew at half mast and the Liverpool Town Hall bells tolled once for each victim.

Ninety-six fans died during a serious crush at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, on 15 April 1989.

Families of the victims have faced a long and public battle for justice for more than 30 years. An initial inquest in 1991 returned a verdict of “accidental death”.

In 1996 ITV broadcasted a documentary where the families alleged a police cover-up and the phrase “Justice for the 96” became well known.

In 2016 an inquest concluded that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed.


Image: Edmund Nigel Gall


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