Hillsborough disaster trial collapses as judge rules no case to answer

The trial of two retired police officers and a solicitor accused of perverting the course of justice following the Hillsborough disaster has collapsed after the judge ruled there was no case to answer.

Retired South Yorkshire Police officers Donald Denton, 83, and Alan Foster, 74, and the force’s former solicitor Peter Metcalf, 71, have all been acquitted.

The three men were each accused of two counts of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice.

It was alleged they were involved in a process of amending officers’ statements to minimise the blame on South Yorkshire Police following the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989, in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

In a ruling handed down at the Nightingale court at the Lowry theatre in Salford on Wednesday, judge Mr Justice William Davis said the amended statements were intended for a public inquiry into safety at sports grounds led by Lord Justice Taylor, but that was not a course of public justice.

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