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Hillsborough match commander pleads not guilty to manslaughter

HILLSBOROUGH match commander David Duckenfield pleaded not guilty yesterday to the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 Liverpool supporters.

The former chief superintendent, 74, appeared via videolink at Preston Crown Court to confirm his name and enter his plea.

All the names of the 95 men, women and children who died following the crush at the FA cup semi-final on April 15 1989, were read out in court. Mr Duckenfield cannot be charged in the case of the 96th victim, as he died more than a year and day after the crush.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, pleaded not guilty to one charge of contravening a term or condition of the stadium’s safety certificate and one health and safety offence.

About 15 family members were in court for the hearing.

A provisional trial date for both men has been set for January 14 next year.

Both defendants remain on unconditional bail.

A further hearing for legal argument is due to be held on October 2.

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