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  1. ITV Report

No charges against two suspects referred by IPCC after Hillsborough probe

Photo: ITV Granada

The Crown Prosecution Service will not bring charges against two further suspects referred by the IPCC following an investigation into the Hillsborough disaster, it has announced.

The police watchdog had submitted files relating to a South Yorkshire Police mounted officer and a farrier contracted to work for the force, following allegations about falsified evidence relating to a police horse being injured outside the stadium.

Six men, including match commander David Duckenfield, are already facing prosecution for alleged offences related to the 1989 disaster and its aftermath.

The CPS said families of the 96 victims of the disaster had been informed of the decision not to authorise charges this week.

It said the mounted officer had been seen on camera before the FA Cup semi-final lashing out towards fans, who he later claimed were burning his horse with cigarettes.

The farrier, who was a friend of the officer, also described the injuries sustained by the horse.

It was alleged that the accounts were false and given to protect the officer from disciplinary action.

The CPS said the evidential threshold for a charge of perverting the course of justice had been met in relation to the farrier, but it was concluded that it was not in the public interest to charge him.

The prosecutor said the evidential threshold had not been met in relation to the officer.

  • Read the CPS statement here:

The CPS has this week informed families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster that no charges have been authorised against two individuals following an investigation by the IPCC.

The IPCC investigated the conduct of a former South Yorkshire Police mounted officer and a civilian farrier, in relation to an allegation made in 1989 that a police horse was burned with cigarettes by Liverpool supporters.

The mounted police officer was seen on camera lashing out towards fans who he later claimed were burning his horse.

The farrier was a friend of the police officer and he claimed to have seen serious injuries to the horse.

The allegation was that their accounts were false and were given to protect the police officer from disciplinary action.

A full file of evidence was received from the IPCC in June 2017 and has been subject to thorough consideration by CPS prosecutors.

It has been concluded that in relation to the police officer, the evidential threshold has not been met and there is not a realistic prospect of conviction.

The evidential threshold for a charge of perverting the course of justice was met in the case of the civilian farrier. In accordance with the two-stage test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the public interest in pursuing the case was then considered. It was concluded that it is not in the public interest to prosecute this individual and so no charge was authorised.

A full explanation of the charging decisions has been provided in writing to the families and their representatives, along with the suspects and other interested parties

The CPS reminds all media and members of the public that there are live criminal proceedings in relation to the Hillsborough disaster. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.

– CPS

IPCC Deputy Chair Rachel Cerfontyne said:

Following a very through and detailed investigation by our dedicated Hillsborough team, we referred a significant body of evidence to the CPS for their consideration in July 2017. The CPS has decided not to charge either subject following our investigation. It was vitally important that allegations of such a serious nature were investigated robustly.

“Following the conclusion of all criminal proceedings relating to the Hillsborough disaster, we will consider whether any former police officers, including all of those referred to the CPS for charging decisions, would have had cases to answer for misconduct if they were still serving. The evidence supporting these findings will be set out in a final investigation report.”

– IPCC Deputy Chair Rachel Cerfontyne