Imagine being a fun-loving twenty something with everything to live for one day, then waking up to the gut-wrenching realisation that you are a shadow of your former self, and will never realise your lifetime’s ambitions.
That’s what happened to young Dean Hutton aged 24 – only had the police officers who wrecked his life stood by their oath to serve and protect the public, things might have been very different. I say ‘wrecked his life’ in that medical evidence suggests Dean would not be where he is now had the over zealous police officers who banged him up for the 10 hours that followed a severe beating have been more diligent. South Yorkshire Police has admitted it was wrong, but in the information age, and given SYP’s reputation hangover from Hillsborough – to hold your hands up and simply say ‘sorry, we’ll pay up out of court’ really isn’t good enough. First and foremost it is important to acknowledge that Mr Hutton and his family deserve that admission of liability, and the subsequent apology that should go with it. They must also receive every ounce of compensation, help and support that they need, nay deserve! But there are wider implications, here. The general public will want to know who is responsible. What happened to the officers whose negligence led this man to the brink of death? Are they now in high-ranking positions, or were they fired? If the lawyers representing Sheffield’s thin blue line deem it fit to bung the Huttons a big fat cheque and hope the scandal goes away, it will reek of a botched cover up. That is not what the people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire deserve, nor will it do anything to help the hard-working police officers of our city and region who put their necks on the line day in, day out – the vast majority of them doing amazing work for the communities they serve. I implore South Yorkshire Police to come clean on this one. What happened that day? We deserve to know.