FIVE men charged in relation to the Hillsborough disaster are making their first Crown Court appearance today — 28 years after 96 fans died in the tragedy in Sheffield.
Graham Mackrell, secretary of Sheffield Wednesday at the time, ex-police solicitor Peter Metcalf, former Chief Superintendent Donald Denton, former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster and former police chief Norman Bettison all appeared before Preston Crown Court this morning.
Metcalf, Denton and Foster, are all accused of perverting the course of public justice or doing acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice in relation to alleged alterations to officers statements.
Mackrell faces two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Bettison is said to have committed misconduct in public office in relation to claims he made in the wake of the disaster.
David Duckenfield, who has been charged with 95 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence, did not appear in court today.
The case against Duckenfield is proceeding a different way because an application to a High Court judge to lift a stay against prosecution imposed at the end of a private prosecution case against him in 2000 in still to be considered.
One of the issues to be covered in today’s hearing is where the trials of the six defendants should be held.