The former South Yorkshire police officer, commander of the FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Stadium on Wednesday in Hillsborough, was guilty of "extremely serious" and "reprehensible" failures, which caused the death of 96 people, his new trial for manslaughter was said.
Richard Matthews, QC, declaring that 75-year-old David Duckenfield had failed to plan Liverpool's match with Nottingham Forest, particularly in managing the security for the 24,000 people with tickets to support Liverpool.
Matthews told the jury that, for Duckenfield, then Chief Superintendent, "wearing the uniform, with the glitches, the braid and the crown" was the reason why he was responsible for an emergency, especially because the crowd was overwhelming ".
Matthews accused Duckenfield of failing to take steps to prevent a crush at the Leppings Lane turnstiles allocated to ticket holders for Liverpool. Then, after ordering the opening of a large exit door, C, to alleviate this crisis, Duckenfield did not order to direct people away from the central "pens" of the Leppings Lane Terrace, 3 and 4, and did not check their degree of filling. .
"Once inside and beyond Door C, the crowd was naturally dragged down the tunnel slope and into the confined area of the central enclosures," said Matthews, "and David Duckenfield's no. he did not even think about the inevitable consequence of the flow of door C, he did not even try to watch what was going on, let alone avoid tragedy ".
The terrible crush on these central pens has killed 96 people aged 10 to 67, Matthews told the jury.
Duckenfield bore personal responsibility for his failures, which caused substantial deaths, said Matthews, even though "there may have been an extraordinary series of collective and personal failures of many, if not all, of those responsible for the planning, organization and management of the arrival, entrance and housing of the 50,000 spectators at the Hillsborough Stadium. "
"David Duckenfield's criminal responsibility for the deaths of 95 of the deceased stems from his flagrant inability to discharge his personal responsibility as a match commander. It was an extraordinarily serious failure – so serious, so reprehensible, so reprehensible and unforgivable that it resulted in a blatant failure. "
Duckenfield is charged with manslaughter for 95 of those killed. Tony Bland, the 96th deceased, has not been charged. Bland, who was 18 when he went to Hillsborough as a Liverpool supporter, "suffered terrible brain damage from not needing enough oxygen," Matthews told the jury. remained in a permanent vegetative state until March 1993 died ".
The 1989 Act provided that no criminal charge of causing the death of a person could be brought if the victim had died more than one year and one day after the alleged offense. Matthews told the jury that Bland's death, almost four years later, was "out of time" for a charge of manslaughter to be laid.
The jury of eight women and four men sworn in on Tuesday learned that Duckenfield had already been the subject of a trial for the same manslaughter indictment charge, which began in January and it is completed because it can not reach a verdict.
"This task of settling the case against Mr. Duckenfield has now been assigned to you," he told them.
He also informed the jury that Graham Mackrell, Sheffield Wednesday's security officer at the time of the disaster, was convicted at the end of this trial for not taking all reasonable precautions with respect to the arrangement of the turnstile at the end of Leppings Lane. Matthews said that Mackrell's conviction "in no way suggests Mr. Duckenfield's guilt".
The family members of the deceased were on the court premises, listening to the testimonies. The debates are also broadcast live on the Cunard building in Liverpool.
Duckenfield pleaded not guilty to the charge. The trial before Judge Sir Peter Openshaw is expected to last about six weeks.