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Full costs bid in police stress case

Lawyers for the Chief Constable are to press for full costs after winning a multi-million pound case against rank-and-file police officers who claimed damages for post-traumatic stress.

Over 5,000 serving and retired members of the RUC and PSNI had been ordered to pay a percentage of the legal bill following a failed appeal against losing the class action. But the Chief Constable's legal representatives are seeking permission to go before the UK's highest court to challenge the refusal to award 100% costs against the plaintiffs. Sources close to the case disclosed that the combined bill for both sides in the huge lawsuits could be close to £10m.

Nicolas Hanna QC, for the Chief Constable, told the Court of Appeal yesterday: “In the very unusual circumstances of this case I would submit it would be a serious injustice to the defendant for this court, in light of all that has happened, to refuse the defendant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

But David McMillen, for the officers who took the case, argued it should be for the Supreme Court itself to decide whether it was in the public interest to hear further arguments on costs.

Lord Justice Girvan adjourned the application to allow other judges who heard the appeal a chance to study the latest submissions.

Belfast Telegraph