Inquests into the deaths of 96 victims of Hillsborough disaster

New inquests into 96 deaths at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster have resumed

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Hillsborough dad Barry Devonside confronts David Duckenfield after ex-police chief finishes evidence

The father of one of the Hillsborough victims has confronted former South Yorkshire police match commander David Duckenfield outside the inquests in Warrington.

Barry Devonside confronts Mr Duckenfield Credit: Picture: ITV News

Barry Devonside's son, Christopher, 18, died in the tragedy in 1989.

He approached Mr Duckenfield as he left the temporary courtroom after giving seven days of evidence.

Mr Devonside told ITV News afterwards: "I introduced myself as Barry Devonside. I asked him why you've kept myself my wife and our daughter and all of the other families waiting for 26 years.

''He apologised to me and said I can't say any more than that and just turned and walked away. "

Mr Devonside makes his point outside the courtroom Credit: Picture: ITV News
  1. Granada

Duckenfield agrees his failure to close the tunnel was the "direct cause" of the 96 deaths at Hillsborough

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Duckenfield denies blaming others for his own failures

David Duckenfield arriving at the inquests in Warrington. Credit: Press Association.

The police match commander at Hillsborough on the day of the 1989 disaster has denied seeking to blame others for his own failings.

David Duckenfield agreed it would be "disgraceful" and "cowardly" to do so.

Questioned by a barrister representing rank and file police officers, the former Chief Superintendent also said he is not in a position to judge whether he froze in the police control box.

Paul Greaney QC, on behalf of the Police Federation, suggested Mr Duckenfield's failure to close the tunnel to the central pens was not because of ignorance.

Mr Greaney: "You bottled it, you panicked and you failed to take the action that you knew needed to be taken to avoid consequences that you had foreseen. Does that describe your state at the time?" Mr Duckenfield: "I disagree with you." Mr Greaney: "Why?" Mr Duckenfield: "Because that’s my view and there can be no other view than mine." Mr Greaney: "Do you accept that that might be a rather arrogant thing to say?" Mr Duckenfield: "Sir I apologise. If that appears arrogant it was not meant to be so and I don't wish to convey that impression to this court… I am trying to be as polite and courteous as possible."

In a separate exchange, the witness said he had three minutes to consider what would happen once the gate was opened.

Mr Greaney: It might only take a child of average intelligence to realise what the consequences of your decision might be. Mr Duckenfield: I didn't think of it on the day because of the pressure I was under.

Mr Greaney suggested the witness had shifted blame from himself by saying junior officers had a responsibility to monitor the density in the pens. Asked what basis he thought that was the case, Mr Duckenfield said "I can't recall."

  1. Granada

Duckenfield denies he 'bottled it' at Hillsborough

  1. National

Duckenfield accused of lying to Hillsborough criminal investgators

David Duckenfield has been accused of lying to investigators from Operation Resolve, the criminal investigation into the Hillsborough disaster.

The former officer has claimed that he had a change of heart about his role in the tragedy at the time of the Hillsborough Independent Panel in September 2012.

But today, lawyer Pete Weatherby took him through the statement he made to investigators in March last year, before the start of the current inquests, pointing out that he included none of the admissions he has since made before the coroner in Warrington.

"Why were you prepared to say to Operation Resolve and the IPCC you couldn't add anything apart from minor amendments?" Mr Weatherby asked.

He added: "You were still sticking to the denials you'd made in the past. This was a misleading statement."

Mr Duckenfield replied: "It wasn't misleading"

Mr Weatherby said: "It wasn't the truth was it?...You've been following these proceedings. You've seen the writing on the wall and you've been driven to accept responsibility."

"I've now learned of my failings, and I'm accepting them," Mr Duckenfield replied.

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Duckenfield: Failure to order tunnel closed a 'blunder'

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Duckenfield: I shouldn't have given evidence in Taylor inquiry

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