Hillsborough inquests: Families react to the long-awaited conclusion


A father who lost his only son in the Hillsborough disaster said he had "dreamt" of the moment a jury decided the 96 victims were unlawfully killed.

Barry Devonside's son Christopher, 18, died in the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday's ground on April 15 1989.

Devonside, who has attended every day of the inquest which started in March 2014, 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."

Christopher Barry Devonside.
Christopher Devonside was 18 when he went to watch Liverpool play at Hillsborough (Hillsborough Inquests/PA)

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."

Tracey Church, who lost her brother Gary in the disaster, said she was overcome with emotion following the jury's conclusion.

Gary Christopher Church.
Gary Church (Hillsborough Inquests/PA)

After holding up a red flag that read "We climbed the hill in our own way", she said they had campaigned for "years and years" to get justice.

She added: "It's surreal. (I feel) emotional, shaken, happy, sad - all mixed emotions."

Gary, who was 19, had travelled from Seaforth to Sheffield. Church described her brother as "outgoing and hard-working".

Chair of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, Margaret Aspinall is surrounded by the media after the Hillsborough inquest decided the Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed
Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, surrounded by the media (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Leading Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James died in the disaster, said she was immensely grateful to the people of Liverpool for backing the fight for justice.

She told reporters: "Let's be honest about this - people were against us. We had the media against us, as well as the establishment.

James Gary Aspinall.
James Aspinall (Hillsborough Inquests/PA)

"Everything was against us. The only people that weren't against us was our own city. That's why I am so grateful to my city and so proud of my city.

"They always believed in us."

Surrounded by a sea of camera crews and reporters outside the court, Ms Aspinall added: "I think we have changed a part of history now - I think that's the legacy the 96 have left."