Hillsborough disaster police chiefs apply for public funding over legal fees

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Three retired police officers facing charges over the Hillsborough disaster have applied for public funding for their legal fees, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner's office said.

David Duckenfield, who was match commander at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989, former chief superintendent Donald Denton and retired detective chief inspector Alan Foster have all made applications to their former force.

A spokesman for police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings said the applications had been received, but no decision had yet been made.

The Crown Prosecution Service announced last month that Duckenfield, a former chief superintendent, would be charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 of the 96 victims of the 1989 disaster at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium.

Denton and Foster, along with former force solicitor Peter Metcalf, are charged with doing acts intending to pervert the course of justice related to the amending of police officers' statements.

Sheffield Wednesday safety officer Graham Mackrell has been charged with two offences involving the stadium safety certificate and a health and safety offence.

Former Merseyside and West Yorkshire chief constable Sir Norman Bettison is charged with two offences of misconduct in a public office following statements he made about the disaster in 1998 and 2012.

All of the defendants other than Duckenfield are due to appear at Warrington Magistrates' Court on August 9.

An application to lift a stay imposed after a prosecution of Duckenfield in 2000 will have to be approved by a High Court judge before he appears in court.