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Hillsborough match commander expected to enter plea at court hearing

David Duckenfield will appear via videolink at Preston Crown Court.

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield is expected to enter a plea to a charge of gross negligence manslaughter on Monday.

The former chief superintendent, 74, will appear via videolink at Preston Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

He is charged with the manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters who died following the crush in the terrace pens of Sheffield Wednesday’s ground at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68,  is also due to appear in court to enter pleas to one charge of contravening a term or condition of the stadium’s safety certificate and one health and safety offence.

A provisional trial date of January 14 has been set for both men.

In June, judge Sir Peter Openshaw lifted a historical stay – halting further legal proceedings – on Duckenfield, which was put in place in 2000.

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