Family of 96th Hillsborough victim 'hugely disappointed' over charge exclusion

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The family of Hillsborough victim Tony Bland, who died four years after the disaster, say they are "hugely disappointed" he has been excluded from a manslaughter charge.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced on Wednesday that match commander David Duckenfield would be charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 of the 96 Liverpool FC fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for Mr Bland's death as he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

In a statement, his family said: "Whilst we are hugely disappointed with the exclusion of Tony from the manslaughter charge against David Duckenfield by the CPS, our relief for the families of the other 95 men, women and children outweigh our personal frustrations.

"Justice has been achieved following the inquests, when the jury returned the verdict of all 96 victims being unlawfully killed at Hillsborough, and nothing will ever change that.

"We will continue to support the other families on the journey for accountability."

Mr Bland, who died aged 22, never regained consciousness after the crush at the Sheffield Wednesday football ground.

He died after a court battle to have his life support withdrawn.

On Wednesday, the CPS announced Duckenfield and five other individuals would face charges following investigations into the disaster.

Former chief constable Norman Bettison, a chief inspector at the time of the disaster, faces four offences of misconduct in a public office over alleged lies in accounts of his involvement in the 1989 disaster.

Graham Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday's company secretary and safety officer at the time, is charged with two offences involving the stadium safety certificate and a health and safety offence.

Former chief superintendent Donald Denton, former detective chief inspector Alan Foster and Peter Metcalf, the force's solicitor at the time, are charged with intent to pervert the course of justice.

All the defendants apart from Duckenfield will appear at Warrington Magistrates' Court on August 9.