Hillsborough disaster families vindicated
27 years on, inquest rules 96 football fans killed unlawfully
Families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster have accused South Yorkshire Police of "a culture of denial" after an inquest jury ruled their loved ones were unlawfully killed.
After the latest step of the families' campaign for justice, the Chief Constable of the force and the chief executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service fully accepted the jury's conclusions and reiterated previous public apologies.
But lawyers for some of the families had previously argued in court that despite their public stance, both organisations sought to minimise their responsibility at the inquests so the jury was unaware of any acceptance of responsibility or fault. Following yesterday's conclusion to the longest jury case in British legal history, a number of family members echoed those criticisms.
Anne Burkett, the mother of Peter (24), who had travelled to the match with friends, said: "If Chief Superintendent (David) Duckenfield had told the truth about what caused the disaster on the day it happened, if the police had truly accepted the conclusions of Lord Taylor's report a few months after the disaster, we would not be here today.
"Instead, they lied and blamed the fans."
Rod Barnes, the current head of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said he was "truly sorry" and admitted lives could have been saved if its response had been different.
Both organisations could face criminal prosecution as well as a number of individuals including overall match commander Mr Duckenfield.
Any decision on charges by the CPS is expected to follow within three to six months.