Former police chief Sir Norman Bettison has seen the charges against him for allegedly lying about the role he played in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster that killed 96 Liverpool fans dropped, with the case against him discontinued at Preston Crown Court.
Bettison, who later became chief constable for Merseyside Police after serving as chief inspector with South Yorkshire Police, was facing four charges of misconduct in a public office that were initially brought against him in June 2017.
Former police chief Sir Norman Bettison will not be prosecuted for charges of misconduct in a public office following the Hillsborough disaster after the Crown Prosecution Service said the case would be discontinued at Preston Crown Court— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) August 21, 2018
But changes in evidence from two witnesses and the death of a third witness are the reasons given by the Crown Prosecution Service for no longer believing there is a 'realistic prospect of conviction' and taking the decision to drop charges accordingly.
It was ruled at the conclusion of the second coroner's inquest in 2016 that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed due to police negligence and that fans were not to blame for the deaths as had previously been claimed.
David Duckinfield, who was match commander the day of the tragedy, will go to trial and is charged with 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter.
Sheffield Wednesday secretary Graham Mackrell, former police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster, and police solicitor Peter Metcalf are also due to face trial.