Public bodies such as South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club are not among those being charged.
They are among the six people indicted following two major investigations that focused on the causes of the tragedy and the alleged cover-up that followed.
Criminal proceedings initiated against Hillsborough suspects
Each of the accused will now appear in court – and could be brought to trial – after legal proceedings have been initiated against them.
To arrive at the decisions, CPS lawyers spent six months examining evidence against 23 suspects identified by the two criminal investigations initiated in 2012.
Just over 28 years after the tragedy that occurred on the terraces of Leppings Lane, the families of the 96 deceased Reds fans, survivors and activists were informed of the charges in a private briefing by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Sue Hemming, head of the organization’s Special Department of Crime and Counter-Terrorism, delivered the message to the assembled at 11 a.m. at Parr Hall in Warrington.
The defendants are:
– David Duckenfield, who was the South Yorkshire Police Match Commander on the day of the disaster – he is accused of killing 95 men, women and children through gross negligence. The CPS stated that they could not charge him with the manslaughter of Anthony Bland, the 96th victim, as he died almost four years later.
– Peter Metcalf, the solicitor who worked for South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor investigation and the initial investigation – he is charged with committing acts with the intent to pervert the course of public justice in terms of material alteration of witness statements.
– Norman Bettison, a former South Yorkshire Police Constable and later Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police – he is charged with four counts of misconduct in public office relating to the telling of alleged lies about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the guilt of fans.
– Former Chief Superintendent Donald Denton of South Yorkshire Police – he is accused of perverting the course of the public justice system in relation to material changes to witness statements.
– Graham Henry Mackrell, who was Company Secretary and Safety Officer of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club at the time of the 1989 disaster – he is charged with two breaches under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and one under the Health and Safety at Work etc. 1974 Act.
– Former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster of South Yorkshire Police – he is accused of perverting the course of public justice in relation to material alterations to witness statements.
Anyone pleading not guilty to the charges against them is likely to be tried by a Crown Court.
The charges follow a complex investigative process that followed the work of the independent Hillsborough panel, which was completed in 2012.
Each of the suspects will now be given court dates at the beginning of the criminal proceedings.