independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Hillsborough inquest schedule urged

Lord Justice Goldring has been appointed coroner to the new inquest into the deaths of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Hillsborough victims' relatives have urged the coroner appointed to the new inquest into the deaths of the 96 victims of the disaster to swiftly fix a time and date.

A new inquest into the deaths of the Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough stadium on April 15 1989 was ordered after the original verdicts were quashed by the High Court.

Lord Justice Goldring was appointed as assistant deputy coroner for the inquiry and will decide in due course where the inquests will be held, the Judiciary said.

Hillsborough Family Support Group chair Margaret Aspinall said: "It's important to give us a time schedule, so we can let the families know. I'm sure they will realise the concerns of the families. It's been 24 years - that's a hell of a long time."

Lord Justice Goldring was the senior presiding judge of England and Wales from January 2010 to December 2012 and sat on the trial of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor's killers.

His appointment comes after ministers changed the law so coroners are no longer required to hold inquests within their own districts. He now has the power to hold the inquest anywhere in England and Wales, if it is in the best interest of the bereaved family and others, such as witnesses.

Hillsborough victims' relatives have spoken out against the fresh inquest being held in Sheffield - home of the disaster and the original overturned inquiry.

Ms Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James, said after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and the High Court ruling on the original verdict, "things have been moving well".

She said: "The most important issue is where it's going to be held. The inquest is going to take a long time. Yes, we want it to be thorough but we want it done as quickly as possible."

She added: "A lot of the families have been tormented and we do not want anything more to happen to any of the families before these inquests. We have waited 24 years. It is an awful long time for this. It is imperative to get the right verdicts on the death certificates."

Press Association

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