Sheffield: Jury to visit Hillsborough as part of new inquest

source: YorkshirePost.co.uk

Sheffield: Jury to visit Hillsborough as part of new inquest Latest inquest to English football's most horrific tragedy will see 3D model of the stadium used, while jurors will be taken to Hillsborough stadium and view the site first hand. Yorkshire Post report.

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As part of the new inquest into the Hillsborough disaster, jurors will be taken to the stadium, where they'll visit the stands and police control room. The latter facility raises controversies, because it has been significantly changed since the tragedy of April 15 1989.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post John Beggs, representing retired superintendents David Duckenfield, Roger Greenwood and Roger Marshall, opposed a jury visit to the control box at the stadium.

“We endorse the concept of a jury visit but we oppose taking them to the current control box because it is different in just about every conceivable way from the box that was there on April 15 1989.” He added: “They will be looking at a view that none of my clients could possibly have had.”

The jury will not be able to see tributes written under the tragedy memorial, because these are very emotional messages and might impede their judgement.

The inquest should begin on March 31, following the previous inquest's findings quashed back in 2012. It was found that police ran a long-term campaign to put the blame on supporters, while the matchday policing was a major factor leading to the tragedy, while lack of proper crisis strategy was responsible for its extent.

Apart from the visit on site, jurors will be presented 2D and 3D models of the stadium that are expected to present actions of each person deceased that day.

Christina Lambert, counsel to the inquests, hopes the inquest will end within 2014. “Our view is that Christmas or thereabouts is about as long as we can hope to keep the jury away from their normal day-to-day existence,” she said.

But Patrick Roche, counsel to 74 of the 96 victims’ families, said although they had no wish to prolong the hearing any more than necessary, they rejected a limit of Christmas. “We don’t accept that Christmas is necessarily the limit, we don’t accept at all that it is the limitation of the jury’s patience or their ability to remember the evidence,” he said. “Our families have no desire to prolong the inquest any more than is necessary.”

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