Nearly 26 years after it claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool football supporters, the police officer in charge on the day has finally admitted the Hillsborough disaster was his fault. David Duckenfield made his admission to new inquests into the deaths.
In fact, Mr Duckenfield made a whole series of admissions, among them: that he had lied about the events of the day, that he was ignorant of the layout of the ground, that he was not equipped to be in command of the operation, and that his response when the fatal crush happened was ‘hopeless’.
But counsel for 22 of the families accused him of making a ‘politician’s apology’, and tried to probe him on why it had taken more than a quarter of a century, noting that as late as March last year, he was still denying responsibility.
Mr Duckenfield and another senior officer were charged with manslaughter in a private prosecution in 2000. The other officer was acquitted, while the jury could not agree on Mr Duckenfield. The judge refused a retrial on the grounds that it would be impossible for it to be fair.