Retired police chief denies Hillsborough disaster manslaughter charge

A retired police chief has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence over the deaths of 95 football fans at the Hillsborough disaster.

David Duckenfield, aged 74, entered a not guilty plea via videolink during a hearing at Preston Crown Court this morning.

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The former chief superintendent, who wore a suit with a blue shirt and purple tie, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his plea.

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The names of 95 men, women and children who died following the crush in the terrace pens of Sheffield Wednesday's ground at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989 were read out in court as the charge was put to him.

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Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, who appeared at court, pleaded not guilty to one charge of contravening a term or condition of the stadium's safety certificate and one health and safety offence.

A provisional trial date for both men has been set for January 14.