Ex-South Yorkshire Chief Constable speaks out about sacking

David Crompton
David Crompton
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South Yorkshire's former Chief Constable, David Crompton, has spoken out about his sacking after top judges ruled the decision 'wholly disproportionate’.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, axed Mr Crompton over a statement he issued at the end of the inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans in the Hillsborough disaster.

A jury concluded that police conduct contributed to or caused the deaths of the football fans in the stadium disaster in 1989 and the families of those who died complained that a line of questioning by South Yorkshire Police during the inquests was designed to try and blame the supporters.

After the inquests, Mr Crompton issued a statement viewed by some as appearing to justify the questioning of the fans’ conduct.

He challenged the decision to sack him and took his case to judicial review in the High Court, where judges ruled in his favour and said the sacking was ‘wholly disproportionate’.

Dr Billings said he would consider appealing after judges delivered their ruling, but he announced on Friday that he would not take the case any further at court because of the cost to the public, with £450,000 having been spent already.

Ex-police chief, Mr Crompton, who had 30 years' service and was due to retire just a few months after he was ousted from his post, said Dr Billings should have listened to Sir Tom Winsor - Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary - who wrote to him and described the sacking as 'conspicuously unfair', 'disproportionate' and 'unreasonable' when dismissal proceedings were started.

Mr Crompton told The Star: "Alan Billings' announcement that he will not pursue an appeal clearly means that the damning criticism of his decisions by the High Court was absolutely correct. "Sadly, he has wasted a huge amount of public money which could have been completely avoided if he had listened to the unequivocal advice of Sir Thomas Winsor a year ago.

"The suggestion that he will approach parliament, presumably seeking changes to the law, is liable to be greeted with both concern and incredulity due to the perverse, misconceived and irrational decisions which were taken by him in this case."

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