Hillsborough disaster legal costs keep mounting

The Hillsborough disaster, 1989
The Hillsborough disaster, 1989
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Over £3 million has come from South Yorkshire Police coffers to pay for lawyers representing eight senior officers involved in the Hillsborough disaster inquests.

The money has gone to law firms representing officers who held senior or key roles at South Yorkshire Police at the time of the stadium disaster, which claimed 96 lives in 1989.

Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright gave the go-ahead for police cash to be used to represent eight officers, including Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who was the match day commander on the day of the disaster - when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in Sheffield in an FA Cup semi-final.

Deputy Chief Constable Peter Hayes is among those represented - the most senior officer from the force at the time who is still alive today.

The amount of money spent so far - and expected to continue to mount with the inquests expected to last around a year - would have paid the salaries of 100 police constables on £30,000 a year.

A spokeswoman for PCC Wright said an application for Home Office funding to cover the costs has been submitted.

“All costs are closely scrutinised to ensure every aspect of work carried out is essential,” she said,

“Following a Special Grant Application to the Home Office in November, the commissioner has been informed that a decision is expected in the coming weeks.”