The jury in the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at the Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield will return to court today to resume deliberations for the first full day.
The seven women and three men retired at 2.05pm yesterday afternoon to consider 14 key questions set out by the Coroner Sir John Goldring, in a 33 page questionnaire, including determining whether match commander David Duckenfield is responsible for the unlawful killing of the fans by gross negligence manslaughter.
The hearings into Britain’s worst sporting disaster first began on March 31 2014, at a specially built courtroom in Warrington, Cheshire, with relatives of the 96 victims attending each day the court has sat.
Sir John concluded his summing-up of the evidence before making his final remarks to the jury, telling them to put emotion aside and consider the case dispassionately based on the evidence heard.
The Hillsborough tragedy unfolded on April 15, 1989 during Liverpool’s FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium in Hillsborough.
Thousands of fans were crushed on the Leppings Lane terrace after around 2,000 fans were allowed to flood into the already packed central pens behind the goal.
Jurors have heard evidence from more than 800 witnesses on topics including stadium safety, match planning, the events of the day, the response of the emergency services and evidence gathering by police after the disaster.
Sir John told the jurors they would have to resolve ‘conflicts’ of evidence they have heard between what Liverpool fans said and the accounts of police officers critical of them.
The coroner also told them they would have to consider the way police statements were taken, reviewed and sometimes amended in what families claim was an attempt to mould the evidence and protect the South Yorkshire force.
The verdicts from the original inquests in 1991 were quashed in 2012 following the publication of a report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel which examined all the files held by organisations since the disaster.
The court resumes at 10am.