Despair and anger for the families of the Hillsborough victims as suspects acquitted on a technicality and judge rules no case to answer

The search for justice for the 96 football fans who died at Hillsborough has been carried for over 30 years by their families, but at least it did look like there could be some closure as cases have been brought to court over the past few years.

Unfortunately, that closure and justice may never come, with a report from The BBC confirming that the case against two retired police officers and a former solicitor has collapsed today.

They were charged with altering police statements after the disaster in an attempt to cover it up and blame the fans for what happened, but the judge has ruled that there is no case to answer in their charges for perverting the course of justice.

The most important takeaway from this ruling is that the trio have been acquitted on the technicality that the inquiry was a public one and not a statutory one that is covered by the court of law, so that means it wasn’t a public court of justice that has been perverted.

Equally importantly, there is no suggestion that the allegations of altering those statements are false, so it absolutely appears that the men have escaped justice based on a technicality or a loophole and not because they have acted properly or morally.

The report carries numerous quotes from political figures and campaigners who are understandably gutted, they can’t believe the disrespect that has been shown to the families and the heartbreak is obvious.

In terms of the three accused men – Alan Foster, Donald Denton, and Peter Metcalf, only they will know exactly what happened and how badly their actions have affected lives, so they will have to carry that guilt to their graves.

Today’s ruling means they can do that as free men and not after facing a proper criminal trial, so it appears that justice will not be done for those 96 fans who needlessly lost their lives that day.