Hillsborough prosecutions - update
The Crown Prosecution Service has today confirmed that criminal charges against Norman Bettison in respect of the Hillsborough disaster have been discontinued.
The decision was taken following a review of the evidence and was confirmed at a hearing at Preston Crown Court this morning.
Norman Bettison had been charged with four offences of misconduct in public office which related to telling alleged lies about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the culpability of fans.
Sue Hemming, CPS Director of Legal Services, said:
“The CPS has a duty to keep all cases under continuing review. Since the original decision to charge Norman Bettison in June 2017 there have been a number of significant developments which have affected the available evidence. These include changes in the evidence of two witnesses and the death of a third witness.
“Our latest review of the evidence has concluded the collective impact of these developments means there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. I appreciate this news will be disappointing for the families and the CPS will meet with them in person to explain the decision.
“I would remind all concerned that although criminal proceedings are no longer active against Norman Bettison, there are five other defendants facing charges relating to Hillsborough and each has the right to a fair trial. It is therefore extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information which could in any way prejudice those proceedings.”