The jury at the Hillsborough inquests delivered their verdict today after hearing more than two years of evidence into the events at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield in April 1989 in which ninety six Liverpool fans tragically lost their lives.
The inquest was ordered after three High Court judges quashed the initial verdict delivered in 1991 which ruled that the cause of death was "accidental". The initial verdict was decried by the families of the victims and led to a twenty one year battle for the verdicts to be overturned. The current inquest has become the longest in British history.
The jurors decided that the fans had been unlawfully killed.
The Crown Prosecution Service has indicated in a public statement that it will investigate whether to pursue criminal prosecutions against "any individual or corporate body" and they will formally begin that investigatory process in due course.
The jury also ruled that the response of the police and ambulance service contributed to the loss of life, and ruled that fans behaviour did not add to the dangerous situation outside the Hillsborough stadium.
Commenting, Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh said:
“After twenty seven years, today’s verdicts will be a vindication & relief for the families of the ninety six Liverpool supporters who lost their lives and the thousands who were at Hillsborough and witnessed the traumatic events and who for so many years have fought tirelessly - against institutions - for justice."
"That they had to fight so hard for justice and to clear the name of their loved ones in the face of institutions who believed it wasn’t for ordinary people or bereaved families to be questioning their version of events, is a grievous shame. But the verdicts today will I hope after twenty seven years give those families some measure of comfort that justice has finally been done.”