Trio accused over Hillsborough Disaster have trial delayed to next year

Two former police officers and a force solicitor charged with perverting the course of justice following the Hillsborough disaster will not face trial until next year.

Retired South Yorkshire Police officers Donald Denton, 81, and Alan Foster, 73, and retired solicitor Peter Metcalf, 70, who acted for the force following the 1989 disaster, were due to stand trial on April 20 charged with acts tending or intended to pervert the course of justice.

At a hearing at Preston Crown Court on Thursday, judge Mr Justice William Davis adjourned the trial for a date to be fixed after January 2 next year.

The court heard Foster's wife has motor neurone disease and requires almost constant care from him.

The judge said there is no reasonable option but for Foster to continue to act as his wife's carer.

He said for a fair trial, if possible all three defendants should be tried together.

Mr Justice Davis told the court: "I shall vacate the trial date in its entirety as fixed for April 20 and shall order the trial be refixed for the first convenient date on or after January 2 2021."

The three men face allegations related to the changing of statements following the tragedy at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died following the crush on the terraces on April 15, 1989.