Hillsborough inquests to be held next spring

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The coroner overseeing new inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster has reassured relatives that he remains ‘committed’ to starting them next spring.

Lord Justice John Goldring told a pre-inquest hearing of his intention for the inquests due to be held in Warrington to go ahead on March 31.

Before proceedings started, victims’ relatives said that after waiting 25 years for ‘justice’ they would be opposed to any delays.

The hearing heard that the volume of material involved in the inquest was ‘unprecedented in terms of scale and complexity’ and new documents could become available up until the start of the inquests because investigations into the disaster were still ongoing.

He said: “I shall not cease, so that it is absolutely clear, to seek to drive these investigations onwards as much as I conceivably can.”

Britain’s worst ever sporting disaster happened at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium in April 1989, during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, as thousands of fans were crushed on the ground’s Leppings Lane terrace.

Last December verdicts of accidental death from the original Hillsborough inquests in March 1991 were quashed after files held by organisations for over 20 years were made public, and revealed a cover up aimed at shifting blame for the disaster away from South Yorkshire Police and onto the fans’.