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  1. National

Ambulance service: 'Lives could have been saved at Hillsborough'

Lives "could have been saved" at Hillsborough if the emergency response was difference, Yorkshire Ambulance Service said today.

Its chief executive said the service accepted an inquest's findings on Tuesday that the 96 fans who died during the 1989 disaster were "unlawfully killed".

"Lives could have been saved on the 15 April 1989 had the emergency response been different", Rod Barnes said.

"On behalf of Yorkshire Ambulance Service, I am truly sorry. Our thoughts remain with the families, as they continue to grieve and come to terms with what they have heard in evidence over the last two years".

Mr Barnes added that the service's ability to respond to major disasters had changed "beyond recognition" in the intervening 27 years.

Two men charged in North Yorkshire fuel scam investigation

File image Credit: PA

Two men are due in court charged in connection with an alleged roadside fuel scam in North Yorkshire.

The men, both Romanian and aged 31 and 41 and based in Middlesbrough, are charged with fraud after motorists reported being flagged down by people claiming they had run out of fuel and offering gold in exchange for cash.

They were arrested last month after being pulled over by officers on the A684 at Constable Burton, near Leyburn and are due to appear at Northallerton Magistrates' Court next month.

  1. National

Coroner: 'You could not have done more by your loved ones'

The coroner in the Hillsborough inquest has told the families of the 96 fans who died in the disaster that they "could not have done more by your loved ones" after they fought for 27 years for answers.

Coroner Sir John Goldring's comments came as he also praised the jurors who "devoted over two years" of their lives to the inquests for their "remarkable" commitment and diligence.

He said: "I suspect I speak for most when I say how hugely impressed we have been.

"Sitting on a jury in the shortest case is to perform a public duty of great importance. Sitting on a jury for this length of time in such a demanding and at times deeply moving case is to perform a public service of the highest order."

The inquest finally closed today as a finding of "unlawful killings" was delivered and the relieved families of victims' applauded both the jury and coroner for all their hard work in the last two years.

  1. National

PM: Hillsborough inquests confirm fans were blameless

Prime Minister David Cameron Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the conclusion of the Hillsborough inquests has provided "official confirmation" that Liverpool fans were "utterly blameless in the disaster".

The 96 fans who died during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final were "unlawfully killed" at Wednesday's home ground, the inquests found this morning.

Mr Cameron paid tribute to the "tireless bravery" of survivors and victims' families in pursuing the truth. The landmark ruling was "long overdue" after 27 years of waiting, he said.

Today is a landmark moment in the quest for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who died on that dreadful day in April 1989.

It is also a long overdue day. The bereaved families and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster have had to wait 27 long years for the full facts of what happened and it is only due to their tireless bravery in pursuing the truth that we arrived at this momentous verdict.

All families and survivors now have official confirmation of what they always knew was the case - that the Liverpool fans were utterly blameless in the disaster that unfolded at Hillsborough.

– Prime Minister David Cameron


Hillsborough campaigner Trevor Hicks: 'We'll be keeping an eye on CPS now'

Trevor Hicks lost daughters Sarah and Victoria in the tragedy Credit: PA

A man who lost his two daughters in the Hillsborough disaster said campaigners would keep a close eye on the work of the Crown Prosecution Service following the outcome of the inquests.

Trevor Hicks, the father of victims 19-year-old Sarah and Victoria, 15, also urged South Yorkshire Police to face up to the jury's finding of unlawful killing.

He said: "Obviously they've got to face up to the fact – even throughout these proceedings – at the way they have conducted themselves.

"I go to back to what (Lord Justice) Taylor said (in his 1990 report into the disaster) in the very beginning – it would have been better if the truth had been faced."

Asked how the justice campaign would progress in light of the verdicts, Mr Hicks said: "We're not going anywhere. Obviously we hand over to the CPS and other people now - and we will be keeping an eye on them.

"We have to hand over now. The arms of the state should be working for us now rather than against us."

I think if anyone is a winner today, it's society at large in that, no matter who you are, how big you are, or where you are in your organisation, the public will come after you if you do anything wrong."

– Trevor Hicks
  1. National

'Brave' jury praised after Hillsborough findings

The relatives of 96 people who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster have praised the "brave" jury who helped an inquest reach an "unlawful killing" finding 27-years after the tragedy.

Jenni Hicks, who lost her two teenage daughters at Hillsborough, said it was relief that the "right conclusions" had been reached as she thanked the jury for their help.

I just got this huge feeling of relief today that finally we've had a jury that's brave enough to come forward with the right conclusions, because its taken us 27 years to find a jury that's brave enough to do that.

– Jenni Hicks

Hinting that things still aren't over though she added: "You can't have conclusions like this and not have accountability for those deaths."

  1. National

Victims' families call for resignation of police chief

A group of 22 families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster have called for the resignation of the current chief constable of South Yorkshire Police.

Stephen Wright, brother of Graham Wright who died aged 17 at Hillsborough

Stephen Wright, the brother of Graham Wright who died at Hillsborough in 1989 at the age of 17, said:

Such a comprehensive admission of responsibility, not only for the disaster and loss of life, but also for the dishonest and outrageous cover-up was not honoured in these current inquests.

Where the five South Yorkshire Police legal teams simply pursued the denials of the past, blaming late drunken ticket-less fans for the deaths of our loved ones.

We the 22 families, call for the immediate resignation of David Crompton, the current chief constable.

– Stephen Wright
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