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Hillsborough police boss will not testify on role in court

THE police commander in charge during the Hillsborough disaster will not give evidence at his trial on manslaughter charges, a court heard yesterday.

Former South Yorkshire Police superintendent David Duckenfield, 74, now retired, is charged with gross negligence manslaughter over the 1989 football stadium crush which left 96 Liverpool football fans dead.

Mr Duckenfield has pleaded not guilty to the charges and defence barrister Benjamin Myers said his client would not give evidence.

The jury at Preston crown court was also told by judge Sir Peter Openshaw to find Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s former secretary Graham Mackrell not guilty of one of two charges relating to health and safety responsibilities.

Mr Mackrell, 69, still faces a charge of failing to discharge a duty of care under health and safety laws.

The Liverpool fans were crushed in the overcrowded Leppings Lane stand at the start of their club’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

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