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Hillsborough officer admits his failure to close tunnel caused 96 deaths

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield has accepted his failure to close the tunnel was the direct cause of the death of 96 people in April 1989.

Giving evidence during the new inquest into the disaster, Mr Duckenfield said it had been the most difficult period of his life to admit his professional failing led to the deaths.

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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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