Names of the 96 read out in powerful opening to new Hillsborough inquests

Lord Justice Goldring is presiding over the Hillsborough inquests.

Lord Justice Goldring is presiding over the Hillsborough inquests.

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Names of each of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster have been read aloud in a powerful opening to the fresh inquests into their deaths.

Against a backdrop of revered silence, relatives wept quietly as each name was slowly read to the jury by counsel to the inquests, Christina Lambert QC.

Ms Lambert's voice cracked as she calmly proceeded through the emotional roll-call before the jurors were sworn in.

A panel of seven women and four men have been told the long-awaited hearing, held in a specially fitted building on the outskirts of Warrington, Cheshire, could last a year.

Coroner Lord Justice Goldring is expected to open the case shortly.

Jurors on the inquest, who have already filled in questionnaires to decide their suitability to hear the case, were also asked yesterday if they supported Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest or Liverpool football clubs.

A list of witnesses was also handed to the panel to see if the jurors know any of them.

The inquest site in Birchwood Business Park is a specially fitted office block that includes a 4,300 sq ft courtroom with seating for 286 members of the public and 92 advocates.

Later in the week, after the coroner has opened the case, a series of "pen portraits" of all the victims will be presented to the court over the next month.

Britain's worst sporting disaster happened on April 15 1989 during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest as thousands of fans were crushed on the ground's Leppings Lane terrace.

Verdicts of accidental death from the original Hillsborough inquest in March 1991 were quashed in December 2012, after the Hillsborough Independent Panel delivered its final report on the disaster earlier that year.

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