Date: 20th December 2012 at 8:29am
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After decades of hurt the original inquest verdicts into the Hillsborough disaster have been quashed at the High Court…

Hillsborough campaigners are finally seeing the light at the end of the storm after the High Court accepted Attorney General Dominic Grieve’s appeal against the findings of a previous investigation into the tragedy.

The 1990 verdict of accidental death of the 96 supporters who lost their lives in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground the year before will now be replaced by the findings of a new investigation to take place next year.

The outcome follows the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in September which studied thousands of previously unseen documents and concluded that up to 41 people could have been saved with a more sufficient response from those on duty that day.

The findings also alleged serious misconduct on the behalf of emergency services which covered up the events and wrongly blamed the supporters for the horrific scenes that unfolded during the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

After announcing the decision, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, who presided over Grieve’s appeal, spoke of his admiration for those who have campaigned so diligently for this moment.

He said: “We must record our admiration and respect for their determined search for the truth about the circumstances of the disaster and why and how it had occurred, which – despite disappointments and setbacks – has continued for nearly a quarter of a century.

“Our earnest wish is the new inquest will not be delayed for a moment longer than necessary.”

Speaking on behalf of the club, Liverpool FC managing director Ian Ayre said: “On September 12, the world heard the real truth about what happened at Hillsborough which was a hugely significant and deeply emotional day for everyone.

“Today, the High Court has quashed the original inquest verdicts which is another positive step forward for the families and survivors in their search for justice.

“Everyone at Liverpool Football Club remains committed to supporting the fight for justice and we hope that every person affected by this can take some comfort from today’s announcement.”

In addition to the new inquest into the 96 deaths there will be a further investigation into the conduct of the various bodies who were accountable for the tragedy 23 years ago.

Led by Jon Stoddart, a former Chief Constable of Durham Police, the separate inquiry has been launched with a view to ‘ensure nobody with responsibility for fan safety at Hillsborough will escape scrutiny’.

Further good news has emerged after it was announced that the Government will fund the legal costs of the Hillsborough families when the new inquest into the disaster takes place.

Vital Verdict
This is a defining moment in the ongoing fight to exonerate the names of those who lost their life’s in such horrific circumstances. It’s great to finally see people with the power to ease the suffering accepting what the rest of us have known all along; Liverpool fans were innocent and the actions and conduct of the other establishments and organisations involved, both before, during and after the disaster, was nothing short of inhumane and reprehensible. For the family and friends of the 96 we can now only hope that the new inquests are conducted quickly and professionally and as much justice as can be achieved at this point is done so.

Hillsborough charity single ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ is out now featuring a selection of music’s biggest artists including Melanie C, Rebecca Ferguson, Gerry Marsden, Sir Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams. The track is raising money for the ongoing fight for justice. Click here for more information and to purchase.

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