New Hillsborough inquest must wait for panel’s findings – Grieve

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The Attorney General will decide later this year whether to request the quashing of a controversial inquest into the death of a 15-year-old boy killed in the Hillsborough disaster.

Dominic Grieve told MPs yesterday he will decide whether to ask judges to overturn the inquest into the death of football fan Kevin Williams once the Hillsborough Independent Panel has concluded its work assessing hundreds of thousands of documents relating to the stadium disaster.

Kevin was one of 96 fans killed in April 1989 when a series of failures by South Yorkshire Police caused disastrous overcrowding in one end of the Sheffield ground.

A coroner later ruled that Kevin, along with the other 95 victims, was dead by 3.15pm on the afternoon of the tragedy, so preventing any proper investigation of how the emergency services responded to the incident after that point.

His mother Anne has campaigned for the past 22 years for that verdict to be overturned, and launched an online petition this year which attracted more than 100,000 signatures – so triggering yesterday’s Parliamentary debate.

Conservative MP Stephen Mosley said the inquest’s verdict was “unequivocally wrong”, and that a series of eye-witness and expert testimonies proved Kevin was still alive at 4pm and could have been saved by a “routine procedure”.

Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith said she wanted to add “the voice of Sheffield” to the debate, stating the city is “still struggling, 23 years on, to come to terms with what happened”.

Backing calls for a new inquest, she said: “There’s been no examination of how police responded.”

Mr Grieve expressed his sympathy but warned that he could only apply for the inquest to be quashed if there was a “reasonable chance of success”.

He said he would therefore postpone his decision until the panel set up to investigate the disaster had completed its work.