Family members from Hillsborough leave the investigation when David Duckenfield says, “I am terribly sorry”.

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The former Chief Superintendent, who testified for a fourth day before the Birchwood Park, Warrington, court, was asked why he waited 26 years before accepting mistakes he had made in the April 15, 1989 semi-final.

Family members from Hillsborough left the court when Game Commander David Duckenfield told the investigation into the 96 deaths, “I am terribly sorry.

The former game commander said he had “buried his head in the sand” after the disaster.

“I hope you understand that. I had hoped it would disappear.

“Also, I hid when the panel report was published and I couldn’t bear the word Hillsborough and I couldn’t bear to think about it.

Mr Duckenfield, who admitted to having lied about Liverpool fans pushing a goal to the ground, said: “I hope you understand that. I did not trust the press to present my thoughts or anyone else’s with the truth and honesty I wanted.

“But then, two years ago, I had to force myself to look at things, and therefore I could only do this with the help of doctors. I think it is fair to say that because I have made great progress.

“During that time I came to terms with reality, and so over time, you could say, I buried my head in the sand, I didn’t admit anything to myself, but I am much older now, much wiser, and I have much more understanding of what happened back then, and I have decided to tell the whole truth.

Mr. Duckenfield: “That day I was traumatized, and like many things in life, you only remember the good days, and sometimes sadly and unfortunately you bury the bad ones.

Michael Mansfield QC, who represented 75 of the families, suggested that Mr. Duckenfield knew the whole truth from the beginning.

“As for me, I have buried the bad days in order to survive.”

Mr. Duckenfield said, “I buried the bad days in order to survive: “Sir, it is now that I have thought very seriously about the families.

Mr. Mansfield asked, “What about the families? Have you thought about them?”

“I have recently seen a video, a very harrowing video, and for the first time I have seen what it means for a mother to lose a loved one, to lose a loved one, not only in these tragic circumstances, but also to have to say goodbye so unexpectedly, in a gym, on a dirty floor, cuddling that person in tears, and you cannot share with that person his grief, grief and sadness.

Several relatives left the courtroom in tears as Mr. Duckenfield spoke at the end of the Friday session.

He added: “To the families I say the following: I am terribly sorry. I now realize what this means to you and I am terribly sorry.

Mr. Duckenfield was asked what he told senior officers and officials immediately after the disaster.

Mr. Mansfield said: “Do you agree that you were prepared to commit a persistent and far-reaching fraud?

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