Hillsborough match commander’s prosecution “breathtakingly unfair”, court hears

Hillsborough match commander's prosecution "breathtakingly unfair", court hears

“It affected how police planned the event and how they would react as matters unfolded.”

Mr Myers said the case against the defendant was characterised by two aspects, the first that it “must be one of the most heartbreaking cases ever to come before an English court”.

He added: “We say the second aspect of this case, that goes to the very core of this … is a breathtakingly unfair prosecution case.”

He said Duckenfield was being blamed for the incompetence and failings of others.

The capacity of the west terrace of the stadium, where the fatal crush happened, was overestimated and should have been reduced, none of those features were Duckenfield’s doing, he said.

Mr Myers also described a reduction of police manpower compared to the previous year’s semi-final and problems with the police radios.

While Duckenfield was an “excellent police officer”, he was not experienced as a match commander, with limited experience of Hillsborough and had less than three weeks to prepare for the game after being promoted to the role, the court heard.

Mr Myers added: “Someone needs to stand up for him.

“An ageing man, not in the best of health.

“He was faced with something that no one had foreseen, no one had planned for and no one could deal with.

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