Families denounce £330,000 for Hillsborough policeman

Thursday, March 01, 2001
Families of the Hillsborough victims have denounced a six-figure compensation payment awarded to a police officer on duty on the day of the disaster.

Ex-sergeant Martin Long is believed to have been awarded in the region of £330,000 after his former employers South Yorkshire Police agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

It is understood the 39-year-old, who retired on medical grounds, claimed to have suffered late-onset post-traumatic stress nine years after the tragedy.

Phil Hammond, vice chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, has condemned the payment as "disgusting".

He said: "We all thought too much time had lapsed for claims like that. When you think about the pittance paid to the families. I'm not saying he didn't suffer but those police officers were there to do a job."

Mr Hammond received £3,500 compensation for the death of his 14-year-old son Philip, who travelled to the 1989 FA Cup semi-final clash with the Boys' Brigade.

He was one of 96 Liverpool fans fatally injured when a crush broke out on the Leppings Lane terrace of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground.

Mr Hammond said: "There are people who lost their sons, daughters and loved once and received nothing. There is a huge difference between the amount paid to the police and the amount paid to survivors."

Support group chairman Trevor Hicks, whose two teenage daughters died in the disaster, said the payment smacked of "double standards".

It is understood Mr Long's compensation case was due to be heard at the High Court at Sheffield this week but an agreement was reached between the two parties. Solicitor Simon Allen, of Sheffield firm Russell, Jones and Walker, said his client suffered a breakdown following the tragedy.