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Hillsborough match commander’s manslaughter trial date set for January

David Duckenfield faces 95 charges of gross negligence manslaughter over the 1989 tragedy.

The trial date for Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield, who is accused of the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 Liverpool supporters, has been adjourned until the New Year.

Duckenfield, 73, was set go on trial in September at Preston Crown Court alongside former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, who is charged with an offence involving the stadium safety certificate and a health and safety offence.

At a directions hearing on Monday, the trial judge, Sir Peter Openshaw, fixed a new provisional trial date of January 14 for the pair at the same court.

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A memorial at Anfield for the Hillsborough disaster (Nigel French/PA)

Duckenfield faces 95 charges of gross negligence manslaughter following the crush in the terrace pens at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday’s ground at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15.

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.

Last week, Sir Peter lifted a historical stay – halting further legal proceedings – on Duckenfield, which was put in place in 2000.

Both defendants are scheduled to enter their pleas at a pre-trial hearing at Preston on September 10.

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