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Hillsborough inquest coroner named
A coroner has been appointed to the fresh inquest into the deaths of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster, and pledged to open the inquiry as soon as possible.
A new inquest into the deaths of the Liverpool supporters at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on April 15 1989 was ordered after the original verdicts were quashed by the High Court in December.
Lord Justice Goldring has been appointed as assistant deputy coroner for the inquiry and will decide in due course where the inquests will be held, the Judiciary said. He was the senior presiding judge of England and Wales from January 2010 to December 2012 and sat on the trial of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor's killers. His appointment comes after ministers changed the law so coroners are no longer required to hold inquests within their own districts.
Lord Justice Goldring now has the power to hold the inquest anywhere in England and Wales, if it is in the best interest of the bereaved family and others, such as witnesses.
Hillsborough victims' relatives have spoken out against the fresh inquest being held in Sheffield - home of the disaster and the original overturned inquiry. The fresh inquest into the disaster was ordered when a panel of three High Court judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, quashed the accidental death verdicts.
A damning report laying bare a cover-up which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy on to its victims was published last September. A new police investigation, as well as an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are also being conducted.
Hillsborough Family Support Group chair Margaret Aspinall urged Lord Justice Goldring to set a date and confirm the location of the inquest.
Ms Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James, said after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and the High Court ruling on the original verdict, "things have been moving well".
She said: "The most important issue is where it's going to be held. The inquest is going to take a long time. Yes, we went it to be thorough but we want it done as quickly as possible."
Ms Aspinall said it was important to the families for the inquest not to be held in Sheffield. She added: "It's important to give us a time schedule, so we can let the families know. I'm sure they will realise the concerns of the families. It's been 24 years - that's a hell of a long time."