JURORS in the trial of the former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary accused of offences related to the Hillsborough disaster will be directed to return a not guilty verdict for one of the charges he faces.

Graham Mackrell, 69, is standing trial alongside match commander David Duckenfield and had been accused of two safety offences.

But on Wednesday, judge Sir Peter Openshaw told the jury at Preston Crown Court he would direct them to return a not guilty verdict at the end of the trial in respect of a charge of contravening a term or condition of the stadium's safety certificate.

He had been accused of breaching the safety certificate by failing to agree the methods of admission to be used for the west and north-west terraces ahead of the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989.

Richard Matthews QC, prosecuting, said: "The Crown, at the close of its case accept there is insufficient evidence upon which Mr Mackrell can be convicted upon count two."

Mackrell, who was the club's safety officer at the time of the disaster at the 1989 final, remains on trial charged with failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The trial continues.