Three accused of altering police statements after the Hillsborough disaster have been acquitted of all charges, with Liverpool FC reflecting on a “huge disappointment.”
Two retired police officers, Donald Denton and Alan Foster, along with solicitor Peter Metcalf stood trial on Wednesday having faced accusations of perverting the course of justice following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
Denton, Foster and Metcalf denied the charges, with a judge presiding over whether they had altered police statements in the aftermath of the tragedy that saw 96 supporters lose their lives.
It was declared that there was no case to answer, with the trio acquitted as a result.
Margaret Aspinall, former chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group who lost her son James in the disaster, described the ruling as “an absolute mockery.”
Liverpool have also responded to the acquittals, saying: “We have a situation in which 96 people were unlawfully killed and yet no individual or group has been deemed legally culpable for their deaths.”
The Liverpool FC statement reads:
“It is with huge disappointment that Liverpool Football Club notes the latest developments in the judicial process relating to the Hillsborough disaster.
“While it would not be our place, legally or otherwise, to comment on those proceedings as they pertain to individuals, it is incumbent on us to forcefully point out that the 96 victims, their families, survivors and all those who suffered as a result of the Hillsborough tragedy have continuously been failed in their pursuit for justice.
“We salute all those who have campaigned for justice. They have been let down yet again.
“We have a situation in which 96 people were unlawfully killed and yet no individual or group has been deemed legally culpable for their deaths.
“As ever, our thoughts are with the families, survivors and campaigners and we would reiterate that, as established by the 2016 inquests, the behaviour of our supporters was not a contributory factor in the disaster, a truth for which the bereaved families had to fight for over a quarter of a century.
“The 96 will never be forgotten.”
Justice for the 96.