Five to face court over Hillsborough disaster

Hillsborough inquest

Five men charged following an investigation into the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath are due to appear in court for the first time.

Former West Yorkshire and Merseyside chief constable Sir Norman Bettison is expected to appear at Warrington Magistrates' Court along with fellow retired police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster, former Sheffield Wednesday secretary Graham Mackrell and solicitor Peter Metcalf, who acted for South Yorkshire Police following the disaster.

Match commander David Duckenfield faces 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter but will not be formally charged until an application to lift a stay imposed after a prosecution in 2000 has been approved by a High Court judge.

Bettison, who was a chief inspector in South Yorkshire Police at the time of the tragedy, is charged with four offences of misconduct in a public office over alleged lies in accounts of his involvement in the disaster.

Mackrell, who was the safety officer for the football club, is charged with two offences involving the stadium safety certificate and a health and safety offence.

Denton, Foster and Metcalf are each charged with two offences of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice relating to amendments made to police officers' statements following the tragedy.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans were crushed to death in pens at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough Stadium on April 15 1989, as their FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest began.

Last month the Crown Prosecution Service said there would be no manslaughter prosecution over the death of the 96th casualty, Anthony Bland, as he died almost four years later, and under the law in 1989 his death is now "out of time" to be prosecuted.

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