The Hillsborough inquests commenced on March 31, 2014 and are the subject of reporting restrictions that have been imposed by the Attorney General's office. Liverpool Football Club is respectful of these restrictions and will therefore only be making available updates from other media channels for the duration of the inquest.

The report below - and the witness testimony contained within it - does not necessarily reflect the views of Liverpool FC. Please be aware that the reports on these pages will contain evidence about the day of the disaster which may be distressing.

To view archive reports from each day of the inquest hearings, click here.

Courtesy of the BBC - March 12

The Hillsborough police match commander has agreed he was incompetent and his "mistakes" and "oversight" caused the deaths of 96 fans.

David Duckenfield said he had done his "best under very trying circumstances and sadly my best was not good enough".

He agreed while he was not negligent, he "did not act as a competent match commander" and that "the risk of death was not obvious to me".

He said he believed football fans contributed to the disaster.

He also said he told the then chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, Peter Wright, that he had lied about Liverpool fans' behaviour to the FA chief executive Graham Kelly in the hours after the disaster.

The former chief superintendent said the revelation had left Mr Wright "very unhappy".

Mr Duckenfield was in charge when a crush developed in terraced pens during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium on 15 April 1989.

Questioning Mr Duckenfield at the inquests, Rajiv Menon QC, who is representing 75 victims' families, said the match commander's "negligence caused the disaster and the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans".

"I wouldn't use the word negligence, sir," Mr Duckenfield said.

"What word would you like to use?" Mr Menon asked.

"Mistake. Oversight. Sir, I did not foresee the consequence," he replied.

He agreed with the coroner Lord Justice Goldring's assertion that a "reasonable, competent match commander would have foreseen where fans should go [and would have closed the tunnel to the pens]".

"Does it therefore follow that on the day you did not act as a reasonable, competent match commander?" the coroner asked.

"Yes, sir," Mr Duckenfield replied.

He also said he "cannot deny" his failure to give an order to close the tunnel leading to the Leppings Lane terrace's central pens was what Mr Menon called a "blunder of the first magnitude".

"Do you accept that those mistakes led to overcrowding, serious injury and death in the central pens?" Mr Menon asked.

"Today sir, 26 years on and with hindsight, the mistakes I made that day were a contributory factor," he replied.

Asked if he thought "drunk, ticketless and late fans" also contributed to the disaster, he said it was his view that "football fans played a part".

He said that while in his position in the control box he had no "first hand evidence" there were drunk and ticketless fans at the stadium, "I think there's been evidence at this court of fans pushing at the rear of people waiting at the turnstiles".

"I suggest that your failure to give that order to close the tunnel was so serious and fell so far below the standard expected... that it amounted to gross negligence," Mr Menon said.

Mr Duckenfield replied that "in my view, it was not negligent and it most certainly was not grossly negligent".

Asking Mr Duckenfield about a conversation with the FA chief executive in which he lied about fans forcing an exit gate, Mr Menon said when it "suits you, you can't remember [but] when you want to assert something, your memory is absolutely fine".

"This is one of the strange realities of post-traumatic stress disorder," Mr Duckenfield replied, drawing gasps from the courtroom.

He said he was "not making excuses" and had "nothing to cover up".

"I've put my hands up and have admitted my failings and I will continue to do so."

He said the situation had been "chaotic, hectic, stressful and I don't expect anybody in this courtroom to understand".

He admitted that by the time he spoke to Mr Kelly, he knew "something horrific was unfolding on the terraces", but said he "never gave another thought" to what he had said.

Mr Menon claimed this was the start of a police cover-up and "the beginning of a false narrative about Hillsborough [that] has sadly survived to this day".

Mr Duckenfield said he could not comment on "where we are with what has been said over the years, because I have shut myself away".

The barrister continued that there were discrepancies between his evidence to the court and the testimony he gave to the Taylor Inquiry, which investigated the disaster in 1989, to which Mr Duckenfield replied "people don't lie, but there are inconsistencies".

"You're lying to Graham Kelly, you're lying to your boss, you're lying to the club, you're lying to the directors, you're lying to everybody," Mr Menon said.

"I've admitted my failings," Mr Duckenfield replied.

Mr Menon went on to discuss the meeting Mr Duckenfield had with his chief constable about an hour after the disaster happened.

The former chief superintendent agreed Mr Wright was "furious" when he heard Mr Duckenfield's account of what happened and that he had lied and said the senior officer was "very unhappy overall".

"I remember walking in to his office, he was behind a desk and he was not best pleased about the events.

"I just remember having related my story and being dismissed like a schoolboy out of the headmaster's office."

The jury heard that during a press conference on the night of the disaster, Mr Wright told journalists there was "nothing to connect the opening of gate C and the crushing in the central pens".

Mr Menon said this was "stage two of the police cover up - namely the assertion that there is nothing to connect the opening of gate C and the crushing in the central pens".

Mr Duckenfield said he did not accept he was "stage one... but I will agree with you totally that the comments of the chief constable were not as clear as they should have been".

Earlier, he was asked about his admission on Wednesday that he lied about Liverpool fans forcing a gate open to enter the ground.

He said the reason he did not admit lying about fans' behaviour on the day sooner was possibly because he was "in denial".

He did not know when he realised he had made "such grave mistakes", he said.

He said the inquests were the "first [opportunity] to apologise fully without fear of seeing anybody misrepresenting what I was saying".

The inquests continue.

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