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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Hillsborough hearing date set

Coroner Lord Justice Goldring has reassured relatives he remains "committed" to ensuring the Hillsborough inquests begin in Warrington on March 31.

Last Updated: 07/10/13 at 16:57 Post Comment

Coroner reassures relatives he remains 'committed' to inquest start time

Coroner reassures relatives he remains 'committed' to inquest start time

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Britain's worst sporting tragedy took place on 15 April 1989 when 96 fans were crushed to death at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The original inquest verdicts of accidental death were quashed in December last year, three months after the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report were published.

Lord Justice Goldring, speaking at a final pre-inquest hearing in London, said: "I certainly remain committed to the date of March 31.

"It is partly for that reason that I have sought, obviously through those who are helping me, to drive those investigations forward as much as I can.

"I shall not cease, so that it is absolutely clear, to seek to drive these investigations onwards as much as I conceivably can."

It was also revealed that materials involved in the inquest were "unprecedented in terms of scale and complexity" and new documents would be made available right up to the beginning of the new inquest next spring.

Discussing the inquests' timetable, Lord Justice Goldring said he was leaning towards them sitting five days a week so the process does not "go on and on".

He also stated that they would be non-adversarial and warned of the need to guarantee that "wholly dispassionate views" would be heard.

Michael Mansfield QC, representing a large group of victims' families, expressed their "gratitude" for the coroner's intention to ensure the inquests start on time.

Pete Weatherby QC, representing 21 victims' families, told the hearing that handheld footage filmed by police at Hillsborough might have been edited, according to an expert who looked at the images.

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