Hillsborough inquests cost £14m since set-up, figures show

Warrington Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A purpose-built courtroom in Warrington has cost more than £3.5m

New inquests into the deaths of 96 fans at the Hillsborough disaster have cost more than £14m so far.

The amount covers the cost of setting up a specially-built courtroom in Warrington plus 169 days of hearings since they began on 31 March 2014.

The largest expense has been almost £6m for the coroner's legal team.

Legal fees for bereaved families, which will be paid for by the government, are not included in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures.

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner is separately meeting the legal costs of eight former senior police officers, including the match commander, Ch Supt David Duckenfield.

The inquests, which were set up in February 2013, are investigating the deaths of 96 supporters who were fatally injured in a crush at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest 15 on April 1989.

A finance report in June said their legal representation costs were "£16m+" so far, meaning the overall cost of the hearings is more than £30m.

The costs in full:

  • Coroner and inquests secretariat staff costs - £499,364
  • Legal costs (counsel, solicitors and paralegals to the inquests) - £5,828,508
  • Accommodation costs (including fit out, rent, service charges, rates etc) - £3,830,452
  • IT (including in-court equipment, audio visual management services, broadband costs etc) - £813,143
  • Jurors' allowances and expenses - £108,671
  • Expert and ordinary witnesses allowances and expenses - £573,371
  • Hearing running costs (including records management, transcription services, office running cost, welfare and police support) - £2,350,915

Total - £14,004,424

Since March the inquests, which are now in their final phase of evidence, have sat for almost another 100 days and are due to conclude early in 2016.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the MoJ, said: "Only expenditure authorised through or on behalf of the inquests secretariat is included in the figures."

It includes the cost of hiring out the courtroom and running the offices, including managing hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence.

A first set of inquests was held in Sheffield in 1990/91, but the High Court quashed the verdicts in 2012.

Steve Kelly, whose brother Michael died in the disaster, told the BBC: "If we had had what we considered to be the truth and justice all those years ago, these [hearings] wouldn't be occurring at this point in time."

Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption Ninety-six football fans died as a result of the crush at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield

Who were the 96 victims?

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BBC News: Profiles of all those who died

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