Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Ex-South Yorkshire Police officers apply for Hillsborough funding

David Duckenfield, Donald Denton and Alan Foster Image copyright Reuters/BBC
Image caption David Duckenfield, Donald Denton and Alan Foster have applied to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner for help with their legal fees

Three ex-police officers charged over the Hillsborough disaster have applied for public funds for their legal fees.

They include former Ch Supt David Duckenfield who faces 95 charges of manslaughter by gross negligence following the 1989 disaster.

Former Ch Supt Donald Denton and former Det Ch Insp Alan Foster are accused of perverting the course of justice.

A decision on whether to grant funding had not been made, South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner said.

Sir Norman Bettison, a former South Yorkshire Police chief inspector who is charged with misconduct in public office, has not currently applied for public funding.

Last year, fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans concluded they were unlawfully killed following a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match.

The inquests also found Liverpool supporters were not responsible for the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium.

Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption Ninety-six football fans were fatally injured in a crush at Hillsborough stadium in 1989

A spokesman for Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "The PCC has received applications for legal funding from three former officers facing prosecution.

"He will consider all applications for funding on their own merits and no decision will be made without solicitors providing full information in support of the applications, including an estimate of the amount of costs that are likely to be involved."

Current government guidance states it is up to individual police authorities to decide whether, and to what extent, financial assistance is made available to officers in criminal proceedings.

The Home Office said this guidance was currently under review, with the South Yorkshire PCC confirming any changes "may impact on the final decision" of the applications.

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