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Hillsborough inquest jury visits stadium to retrace steps of crushed fans

JURORS on the inquest into the deaths of 96 football fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster have retraced the steps of Liverpool supporters on the day.

The 11-strong jury left the courtroom in Warrington for a site visit to Sheffield, home of the Hillsborough stadium.

Hooked up to wireless headphones, the jurors were guided by coroner Lord Justice Goldring along Leppings Lane to the ground's terrace of the same name, where Liverpool fans arrived for the FA Cup semi-final 25 years ago.

Britain's worst sporting ­ disaster unfolded on April 15 1989 during Liverpool's match against Nottingham Forest, as thousands of fans were crushed in the Leppings Lane terrace.

Huddling under umbrellas, jurors were briefly taken round the edge of the stadium. Lord Justice Goldring highlighted structural changes before taking jurors down the tunnel to the former location of pens three and four, where the crush occurred.

Earlier, two coaches had transported the jury, counsel, court staff, the coroner and a small press pool to the stadium.

A marked police van closed off Leppings Lane as the jurors disembarked and were taken towards the entrance, site of gates A, B and C, all used by Liverpool fans on the day of the 1989 match.

Traffic and police cones had been laid out to illustrate to jurors the layout of the entrance in 1989, such as the location of a railing and gate no longer present.

Earlier this week, the inquest heard a minute-by-minute account of how the disaster unfolded.

The hearing was told of key events accompanied by rarely-seen footage of the day from police and BBC cameras and stadium CCTV as the match began.

Jonathan Hough, QC, counsel for the inquest, and Neil Malkin, the senior investigating officer for Operation Resolve, the police's criminal investigation into the disaster, took the jury through events of the day, interspersed with a compilation of video captured by the cameras.

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