The Crown Prosecution Service announced today that criminal charges of misconduct in public office against Norman Bettison have been dropped.

In June 2017, Bettison, the former South Yorkshire Police officer, was one of six individuals charged with criminal offences relating to the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath.

As a result of the events on April 15, 1989, at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, 96 supporters lost their lives.

Following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report in 2012, the original inquest verdicts of accidental death were quashed and new hearings ordered.

After the longest-running inquest in UK legal history, between 2014 and 2016, determinations of unlawful killing were returned by a jury of six women and three men in the case of each and every one of the 96 victims.

The CPS charged Bettison with four offences of misconduct in public office relating to telling alleged lies about his involvement in the aftermath of Hillsborough and the culpability of fans.

At Preston Crown Court today, the CPS informed the judge in the case, Sir Peter Openshaw, those charges have been withdrawn and the prosecution discontinued.