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A Kurdziel  
#1 Posted : 13 May 2019 14:33:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-48253507

Can someone please clarify that Graham Mackrell has been prosecuted as a Director under section 37 of Health and Safety at Work Act rather than as “safety officer” (ie Health and Safety professional) under some other part of the Act (Section 7 or 36). The BBC report does not make this clear.  

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 13 May 2019 15:04:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

At the time he was Club Secretary and "defacto" safety officer being involved with the grounds site safety certificate The term safety officer appears in a government guidance document issued in 1986 some 11 years after the Safety of Sports grounds Act 1975 but before the Fire Safety and Safety of places of sport act 1987 It was the former act regarding turnstile arrangements in consultation with the police he was found to have breached which possibly explains the now comparatively low fine issued

Edited by user 13 May 2019 20:25:46(UTC)  | Reason: more info

thanks 1 user thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 14/05/2019(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 13 May 2019 21:41:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Local news this evening the judge said he had to sentence "in accordance with the rules as they were in 1989"
RayRapp  
#4 Posted : 14 May 2019 08:29:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

The first person to be found guilty of an offence courtesy of HSWA according to a BBC news report. The fine of £6,500 does seem paltry given the outcome. However, his crime was not having enough turnstiles manned preceding the cause of the disaster, but the not the cause of it according to the aforementioned report. In truth, there have been many who have committed worse deeds without the tragic consequences of course.

It will be interesting to see if anyone else is found guilty of an offence. The real tragedy is that it has taken so long for justice.   

jmaclaughlin  
#5 Posted : 14 May 2019 09:18:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jmaclaughlin

Since we had a near miss (Spurs V Wolves FA Cup Semi final at the same ground in 1981) where the walls collapsed and fans spilled out onto the pitch therby easing congestion and stopping fans getting crushed to death, Hillsborough 96 should never have happened.

The only "improvements/lessons learnt" from that incident was for Sheffield Wednesday to reinforce the walls to stop them collapsing therby removing the main safety valve for overcrowding the stadium.

There are many, many unanswered questions, such as:-

Why the FA decided to award Sheff Wed another FA cup semi final should be investigated.

The reasoning behind Sheff Wed decision to reinforce the walls should be ascertained.

The policing of the event where they funneled an inapproiate number of fans into a single stand.

Why did the local authority issue a safety certificate.

Laying the blame on a single person who was not a H&S professional at the time looks like nothing more than a sacrificial scapegoat offering.

thanks 2 users thanked jmaclaughlin for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 14/05/2019(UTC), Johndoh1976 on 17/05/2019(UTC)
MrBrightside  
#6 Posted : 14 May 2019 09:30:27(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MrBrightside

For me this is a need to find someone or a few people to blame. Mistakes happened and people died, but this happened so long ago now what will pointing the finger of blame achieve. Safety has moved on so much since then and you cannot hold people accountable to the standards that we hold today (although this now seems to be common practice).

Imagine carrying out an Incident Investigation for something that happened over 20 years ago. What would you expect the outcome to be? what would the benifit be?

History will only judge us on the choices we make. 

Note: This is purely my own opinion and thoughts and I am in no way downplaying the terrible event. I rationlise everything.

A Kurdziel  
#7 Posted : 14 May 2019 12:29:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

It seems that the original CPS charges were:

  • Graham Henry Mackrell, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer at the time, was charged with two offences of contravening a term of condition of a safety certificate contrary to the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975(as RoundTuit suggested). Also one offence of failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other persons who may have been affected by his acts or omissions at work under the Health and Safety Act 1974

The former were dropped during trial, the latter is s.7(a) wording – I initially thought it may have been s.37 (as he was also the Company Secretary) but they went for Section 7.

A Kurdziel  
#8 Posted : 16 May 2019 08:56:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

and this looks like the defintive answer

​​​​​​​
Waz  
#9 Posted : 16 May 2019 15:25:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Waz

I have commented on this event on numerous platforms, and as earlier people have identified, lessons learned are negligable.

Guilty Mind and Guilty Act - The FA have never in their part been identified as culpable for the tragedy, interesting as it is the FA Cup; they themselves sanction the tie and also sanction the ground, so surely there is failure here?  They surely have to do a due diligence process to determine the ground's suitability to deliver a safe semi-final experience for the fans and players?

Liverpool were given the Leppings Lane end of the ground, with minimal turnstiles, though it was known they had the largest following?  They also travelled from the west to the 'east' part of the ground?  Forest fans came from the south and headed to the western turnstyles?  Strange.

Pembo55  
#10 Posted : 17 May 2019 09:56:33(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Pembo55

Originally Posted by: Waz Go to Quoted Post

I have commented on this event on numerous platforms, and as earlier people have identified, lessons learned are negligable.

Guilty Mind and Guilty Act - The FA have never in their part been identified as culpable for the tragedy, interesting as it is the FA Cup; they themselves sanction the tie and also sanction the ground, so surely there is failure here?  They surely have to do a due diligence process to determine the ground's suitability to deliver a safe semi-final experience for the fans and players?

Liverpool were given the Leppings Lane end of the ground, with minimal turnstiles, though it was known they had the largest following?  They also travelled from the west to the 'east' part of the ground?  Forest fans came from the south and headed to the western turnstyles?  Strange.

The liverpool fans where not situatied in the east part of the ground the end they where in the leppings lane end which is also reffered to as the west stand.  The Liverpool fans where given the west stand due to them travelling from the east when realistaclly they should have had the east stand as this would have been able to accomedate the number of fans easier. 

Clark34486  
#11 Posted : 20 May 2019 08:09:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

'sentenced' is a bit strong isn't it? hardly appropriate for the 'crime'

There's an important aspect not considered here- Thatcher was doing her very best to irradicate the 'English disease' therefore ALL football fans were criminals to be treated with uptmost contempt.

If you ever get the chance google Bernard Ingram's letter to a Hillsborough victims family, in fact i'll save you the effort, here is the text;

"Thank you for your letter of June 13. I am sorry you are disgusted with the uncomfortable truth about the real cause of the Hillsborough disaster. It is my unhappy experience to find that most reasonable people outside Merseyside recognise the truth of what I say.

All I get from Merseyside is abuse. I wonder why. You are at least right in believing that you will have to put up with my discomforting views. I cherish the hope that as time goes on you will come to recognise the truth of what I say.

After all, who if not the tanked up yobs who turned up late determined to get into the ground caused the disaster? To blame the police, even though they may have made mistakes, is contemptible."

I was sat at home in the kitchen, by 1989 I had moved from Liverpool to my mothers home town of Plymouth, my dad hand called from Liverpool telling me he had got lucky and been offered ticket, obviously this was years prior to mobile telephones, I didn;t hear from him again until 9pm that night.................................................

Edited by user 20 May 2019 08:19:08(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

A Kurdziel  
#12 Posted : 20 May 2019 09:18:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I appreciate that there is a desire to find someone to blame and put everything onto some person in charge. In reality this is very difficult; usually there is no single person who can be blamed for everything that goes wrong. The judges said the following in his sentencing about Graham Mackrell:

Graham Mackrell, to answer on count 2, and he was therefore was acquitted upon that charge but he was convicted count 3 of an offence contrary to section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the particulars being that he ‘failed to take reasonable care, as the Safety Officer, in respect of the arrangements for admission to the Hillsborough Stadium and particularly in respect of turnstiles 2 being of such numbers as to admit at a rate whereby no unduly large crowds would be waiting for admission’. He now falls to be sentenced for that offence. 3. If committed today the offence would carry a maximum prison sentence of 2 years, but the defendant must be sentenced according to the sentences available in 1989, when the offence was committed. Then, the only sentence available was a fine. Therefore, the sentence that I can pass today is limited by law to a fine.”

So the accused was found guilty under section 7 of Health and Safety at Work Act in that he did not manage the turnstiles. He was not responsible for opening the gates which actually caused the rush of people into the stands, therefore was not directly responsible for the deaths that occurred.

The sentence was based on what the law was at the time of the offence.

The blame should be placed much wider and in particular in the way that football was run.

Football was run for the benefit of the club owners who notoriously cut corners (eg Bradford fire) and treated the fans as terrace fodder: a source of income nothing more. The regulators (ie the government) despised football and it supporters. Margaret Thatcher famously wanted football banned or at least play behind closed doors.  Back in those days (before Italia 90) nobody “posh” would admit to following football-hooligan’s game for hooligans.

It is ball to do with the prevalent culture: back then it was bad especially in football.

jmaclaughlin  
#13 Posted : 20 May 2019 09:51:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jmaclaughlin

Absolutely nothing to do with Thatcher.

Speakingas someone from personal experience of the 1981 semi-final where 38 Spurs fans received crush injuries due to overcrowding and policing.

No one was drunk due a bad traffic accident on the M1 delaying the flotilla of coaches and cars, mini buses travelling by a 90+ mins.

The scope for getting drunk pre match at that time was very limited as most pubs opened at 11am and closed at 3pm allowing for travelling time you could get a couple of pints, but that would be about it.

I can only assume that Bernard Ingram never actually attended football matches in the 80's as most of the drunken behaviour he alludes occurred at European matches or Seaside towns when fans go for the weekend and spent all day drinking with disastrous consequences.

The main reason justice will not be served seems to be that Sheff Wed of 1980's effectively ceased to exist when Mandarić's UK Football Investments bought it for £1 in 2010 when they were on the point of bankruptcy.

The main cause of this is overcrowding, so the controlling minds that said it was ok to put 10,000+ people into the Leppings lane stand when it clearly isn't should be held to account. given that you had a very near miss in 1981 how on earth could you permit the same thing to happen in 1986?

For me the controlling minds are Sheff Wed 1981, The FA & Yorkshire police.

 

 

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