The health and safety officer in charge of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club at the time of the Hillsborough disaster has been fined £6,500 for failing to make sure there were adequate turnstile arrangements to prevent the build-up of large crowds.
Graham Mackrell has become the first person to be convicted of an offence relating to the disaster, which took place on 15 April 1989 during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough stadium. 96 Liverpool fans died following the crush in the central pens of the Leppings Lane terrace.
Mackrell was guilty on 3 April after a ten week-trial of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The Stadium’s safety officer had breached his duties by only making seven turnstiles available for the 10,100 Liverpool fans with standing tickets.
Mackrell was also charged with two other offences that carried possible prison sentences for alleged breaches of the Safety of Sports Grounds Acts 1975.
According to the BBC, the judge said: “The defendant’s offence was at least one of the direct causes of the crush at the turnstiles outside the ground but was not a direct cause of the crush in the terraces inside the ground that resulted in the deaths of 96 spectators and injury to many more, to which the crush outside the ground did no more than set the scene.”
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