Misconduct charges against Hillsborough police chief dropped

Former police chief Sir Norman Bettison will not be prosecuted over alleged lies he told following the Hillsborough disaster after charges against him were dropped.

Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 11:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 11:15 am
The Hillsborough disaster unfolding.

The former Merseyside and West Yorkshire chief constable had been charged with four counts of misconduct in a public office, all relating to alleged lies he told about his role in the aftermath of the 1989 tragedy in which 96 Liverpool supporters died.

Sir Norman Bettison.

Sir Norman, aged 62, who was a chief inspector at the time of the tragedy at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989, had been due to face trial next year.

He was accused of untruthfully describing his role in the South Yorkshire Police response as "peripheral" in a comment to then chief inspector of constabulary Sir David O'Dowd, in 1998, when Sir Norman applied for the job of chief constable in Merseyside.

Sir Norman, of Barnsley, was alleged to have lied in a statement issued on September 13 in 2012, following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, when he said he had never offered any interpretation other than that the behaviour of Liverpool fans did not cause the disaster.

He was also accused of misconduct over a a statement released the following day in which he said he had never "besmirched" Liverpool fans.

Five other men, including Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield, are due to face trial for offences related to the disaster next year.