May 12, 2021
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The judge said: “In respect of the defendant David Duckenfield I lift the stay.”I confirm that I grant the voluntary bill of indictment to allow prosecution against for manslaughter to proceed. I decline to order a stay on that charge.”The judge ruled that four other defendants charged with matters related to the disaster and its aftermath will also face trial following abuse of process arguments, which were heard at Preston Crown Court earlier this month. Three other defendants – retired police officers Donald Denton, 80, and Alan Foster, 71, and retired solicitor Peter Metcalf, 68, who acted for South Yorkshire Police following the 1989 disaster – are scheduled to go on trial in January 2019 charged with doing acts intended to pervert the course of justice.An abuse of process argument for former Merseyside and West Yorkshire chief constable Sir Norman Bettison, who is charged with misconduct in a public office, has been adjourned until August 21.A case management hearing for the case of Duckenfield and Mackrell is due to be held on Monday.Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, because he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused. David Duckenfield, the man in charge of policing during the Hillsborough disaster, will face trial over the deaths of  fans after a judge lifted a ban on prosecution.The match commander will now answer 95 charges of gross negligence manslaughter following the crush in the terrace pens of the Sheffield Wednesday stadium in 1989.A judge at Preston Crown Court ruled on Friday morning to lift a stay on the prosecution of 73-year-old Mr Duckenfield. The Crown Prosecution Service had applied to lift the historical stay – halting further legal proceedings – on Mr Duckenfield, which was put in place in 2000 when a previous private prosecution failed to reach a verdict.About 10 family members of the 96 Liverpool fans who died at the FA Cup semi-final were in court, with others watching proceedings on a video link from Liverpool, as judge Sir Peter Openshaw made his rulings.Video: Families’ long fight for Hillsborough justice Duckenfield is set go on trial in September at Preston Crown Court alongside former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, who is charged with an offence involving the stadium safety certificate and a health and safety offence. The prosecution decided not to proceed with a second charge of breaching the stadium safety certificate against Mackrell. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more