‘CLEARED’ Hillsborough police commander David Duckenfield got nearly £2.5million legal aid.
By the time his first trial for manslaughter collapsed last year Duckenfield had received around £650,000 in legal aid.
By the time his second trial started the bill had shot up to £1,913,942, with £464,095 doled out during the court case.
Duckenfield, 75, was in charge of the 1989 FA Cup semi in Sheffield when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death.
Victims’ families were only granted state aid 20 years later. The families had tirelessly campaigned for justice raising money to fight for an open honest enquiry into the deaths of their loved ones.
Duckenfield, a retired chief superintendent, 75, denied the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989
Ninety-six men, women and children died following the crush on the terrace but, under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim Tony Bland as he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.
The trials cost £4.35million the Probe into tragedy know as Operation Resolve cost almost £60 million. It was set up in 2012 and at times had 200 investigators sifting through 143,000 documents relating to the disaster, as well as hours of footage from the day.
The Legal Aid agency said: “Costs may be subject to change.”
Operation Resolve Chiefs say now the investigation, which led to the trial of match commander David Duckenfield and former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, could be used as a template for teams looking into other major tragedies.
Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Malkin, the senior investigating officer, said: “This investigation is probably the most complex in its size and its nature, bearing in mind it also had to handle the biggest inquest we’ve seen, so there hasn’t been an investigation like this, but there are certainly investigations that are of equal challenge.
“Grenfell for example, is another large investigation of a similar size and will probably have to encounter similar problems to us.”
David Duckenfield ‘hid behind cowardly lie’ Liverpool Echo
The Liverpool Echo reporter Joe Thomas who has covered David Duckenfield’s retrial has written a strong condemnation of the retired chief superintendent even though he has been acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter.
Quote Message: “The Hillsborough match commander was cleared of gross negligence manslaughter. But his acquittal does not undo his shameful lie. David Duckenfield is not a criminal, a jury has decided. And it is not his fault those who deserved to face the same scrutiny he did will never be held accountable for the deaths of the 96.
But while his acquittal means he did not fail to a criminal standard, it does not mean he did not fail at all. Nor does it mask the fact he lied.” -Joe Thomas, Liverpool Echo
THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE SYSTEM’ – JENNI HICKS
Jenni Hicks, the mother of of two sisters who died in the Hillsborough disaster, said she was “very disappointed” with the verdict.
“What the country needs to remember is that this shouldn’t take away the unlawfully killed verdict that we had in the 2016 inquests, which is basically gross negligence manslaughter to a criminal standard and yet when you take it to a criminal court it doesn’t stand up, so it is very confusing.
“What the country needs to remember is that this shouldn’t take away the unlawfully killed verdict that we had in the 2016 inquests, which is basically gross negligence manslaughter to a criminal standard and yet when you take it to a criminal court it doesn’t stand up, so it is very confusing.”
“And we’ve now got to live with knowing that all of our loved ones were unlawfully killed – who is accountable for the deaths then?
And we’ve now got to live with knowing that all of our loved ones were unlawfully killed – who is accountable for the deaths then?”
There’s got to be something wrong with the system, it is totally wrong. -Jenni Hicks