Jenni Richards QC has been instructed in the new inquests into the Hillsborough disaster, which resulted in the deaths of 96 people and injuries to over 700 more and is still the worst stadium related disaster in British history.
A key difference between these inquests and the inquests in 1991 is that the original inquests refused to hear evidence of incidents that occurred after 3.15pm of the day of the disaster, whereas Lord Justice Goldring has not imposed such a time limit on the current inquests. The original cut-off time was put in place due to the inquests’ acceptance that no-one trapped in the crush could have been saved after this time. Removing this time limit clearly places the actions of the Yorkshire Ambulance Trust under greater scrutiny. One of the main questions Lord Justice Goldring has set for the jury to answer directly relates to the role of the Yorkshire Ambulance Trust: “What was the emergency response of the police and the ambulance service and the other services? Could any more have been done? If so, what?”
Jenni Richards QC has extensive experience in difficult and sensitive inquests and inquiries, in particular those in which there is a public component such as the responsibility of the state in relation to the cause of death. She has represented local authorities, NHS trusts, central government, families, employers and other properly interested persons at inquests ranging in subject matter from asbestos exposure to deaths in custody.