Panel of potential jurors selected for Hillsborough trial

Eleanor Barlow, PA
·2 min read

Jurors in the trial of two retired police officers and a former force solicitor, accused of perverting the course of justice after Hillsborough, are expected to be sworn in on Tuesday.

Former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Donald Denton, 83, Alan Foster, 74, a retired detective chief inspector, and Peter Metcalf, 71, a former solicitor for the force, deny perverting the course of justice.

On Monday, a panel of 18 potential jurors was selected for the trial at the Nightingale court at the Lowry Theatre in Salford, after completing a questionnaire.

Judge Mr Justice William Davis told the panel he was giving them the night to “think carefully” about whether they would be able to sit on the trial, which he said he expected to finish about the end of June, but could last up until the end of July.

Hillsborough court case
Donald Denton, Alan Foster and Peter Metcalf (PA)

He said on Tuesday that 12 jurors would be selected from the 18, as well as two others who would play a part in some of the trial.

The three defendants each entered not guilty pleas to two counts of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice.

The defendants stood in the stalls of the theatre, converted into a temporary courtroom, to enter their pleas, while the judge sat on the stage.

Family members and some press were in the gallery of the room, with a separate annexe for media in the building, and proceedings relayed to St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

The charges relate to the amendment of police officers’ statements following the disaster on April 15 1989.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans were crushed to death in pens at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough Stadium at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.