David Duckenfield, the match commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, was today found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at a retrial.

After a seven-week trial at Preston Crown Court, the jury deliberated for three days before returning their conclusion on Thursday afternoon.

They found Duckenfield not guilty on the charge of manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 of the 96 children, women and men who lost their lives as a result of the events at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.

Due to the law in 1989, the former chief superintendent was not charged with the manslaughter of Tony Bland, because he died more than a year and a day after the disaster occurred.

Criminal charges in relation to the Hillsborough disaster were brought in June 2017 following the investigations of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Operation Resolve, which were launched after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in September 2012 and the subsequent quashing of the original inquest verdicts.

New inquests into the tragedy began in 2014 and an historic determination of unlawful killing in relation to each victim was returned in April 2016.

Earlier this year, Graham Mackrell, the Sheffield Wednesday club secretary at the time of the disaster, was found guilty of failing to take reasonable care to have sufficient turnstiles available for the match and fined £6,500.

Three other men – former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Donald Denton, former SYP detective chief inspector Alan Foster, and the force’s then-solicitor Peter Metcalf – are scheduled to stand trial on charges of perverting the course of justice next year.

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