Former Assistant Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Walter Jackson (left), with barrister Andrew Nuttall [Image: Liverpool Echo].

Former Assistant Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Walter Jackson (left), with barrister Andrew Nuttall [Image: Liverpool Echo].

With so much being spent on the top officers of the time, and comparatively so little on rank-and-file police, one wonders – just wonders… who is more likely to take the rap?

Almost £25m has been spent on legal fees for serving and retired senior police officers at the Hillsborough inquests.

Figures show the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings spent a total of £24.7m on legal costs for the inquests up until March 2016.

That total included a barrister for the current chief constable of the force, as well as barristers for retired former officers who served at the time of the tragedy.

From October 2013 up until January this year, Lewis Hymanson Small solicitors – the firm representing match commanders David Duckenfield, Roger Marshall and Roger Greenwood as well as retired chief superintendents Terry Wain and Donald Denton – was paid more than £14m.

Of that, £10.4m was spent on counsel fees – paying the six barristers who represented the officers.

The three match commanders were represented by a team of four barristers, which included lead counsel John Beggs QC.

The police and crime commissioner’s figures showed that £5.8m was paid to law firm Burton Copeland,representing former deputy chief constable Peter Hayes and former assistant chief constables Walter Jackson and Stuart Anderson.

Of that, £4.3m was spent on counsel fees.

The PCC had a legal obligation to support both the chief constable and former officers who were granted ‘interested person’ status at the inquests into the 96 deaths.

Special Grant funding of £20.4 million was secured from the Home Office, leaving a net cost to the PCC of £4.3 million.

Rank and file officers have been represented by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).

In a document available online, the federation says it has spent in the region of £5m on the inquests, with legal costs continuing to come in.

The federation is supporting 324 members – including current and former officers – in relation to Hillsborough, some of whom were witnesses at the inquests.

Source: How much were lawyers paid to represent senior police officers at Hillsborough inquests? – Liverpool Echo


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