TWO ex-detectives have accepted undisclosed damages over remarks in a book by former West Yorkshire Chief Constable Keith Hellawell.
Roy Smith and Laurence Andrews had brought libel proceedings over The Outsider, the November, 2002, autobiography of Mr Hellawell, who lives in Huddersfield and is an Examiner columnist.
The book had suggested that they had conspired to pervert the course of justice.
The case stems from Mr Hellawell's recollection of the 1968 murder of 73-year-old Rudolph Falck at his home on Wakefield Road, Aspley.
Mr Smith and Mr Andrews' lawyer, Jeremy Clarke-Williams, told Mr Justice Gray at the High Court in London that the book featured a short passage on the police investigation of the case.
The book said the pathologist who went to the scene at first indicated Mr Falck had committed suicide.
Mr Clarke-Williams said two senior officers had wanted to accept the report, but Mr Smith and Mr Andrews, the detectives who first went to the scene, had objected, on the basis that it was clearly a murder.
The murderer was swiftly identified and caught. He subsequently confessed.
Mr Smith and Mr Andrews were not named in the book, but their involvement was known to a number of people, particularly in the police.
Mr Clarke-Williams said Mr Hellawell wrote about the matter, based on his recollection of what he had been told by the senior officers who had headed it.
But he, publishers Harper Collins and Associated Newspapers unreservedly accepted that the account in his book and was published in the Mail on Sunday was inaccurate.
It suggested the officers who dealt with the crime had conspired to pervert the course of justice by dishonestly pretending the victim had committed suicide, that they had fabricated evidence to support this and that they had then lied to the coroner's court.
Mr Clarke-Williams said the defendants accepted there was no truth in the allegations. They withdrew any suggestion that Mr Smith and Mr Andrews conducted themselves improperly.
They apologised and agreed to pay damages and their costs.
Mr Smith rose to the rank of chief superintendent and became head of Huddersfield police in 1982.
He retired due to ill-health two years later at the age of 51.
He worked in Huddersfield for most of his career, which spanned 31 years. He joined the police in 1953 after serving in Korea with the Black Watch regiment and won bravery awards.
Mr Andrews joined the police in 1954. By 1973 he had risen to the rank of detective superintendent.
ELEDERLY man beaten to death for £14
THE victim at the centre of the libel case was brutally slain for the sake of just £14, a transistor radio and a watch.
Rudolph Falck, 73, was in frail health and lived alone at his home on Wakefield Road in Aspley.
He could not even get up his own stairs and so had turned his living-room into his bedsit.
A couple - David Mitchell Robb, 29, a heavy drinker, and his 22-year-old wife, Anne - were living in a squat nearby.
The couple called at Mr Falck's home in March 1968 on the pretext of getting a basin of water. As soon as Mr Falck opened the door he was viciously attacked by Robb.
He was found dead by his grand-daughter the next day and had suffered multiple injuries.
The cause of death was later found to be lung injuries caused by the attack which left him with five broken ribs.
Robb and his wife fled to Scotland but turned themselves in to police a few days later.
Robb admitted murdering and robbing Mr Falck and was jailed for life in July 1968.
Anne Robb was cleared of murder by a jury at Leeds Assizes, but was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for four years.
She was also found guilty of robbing Mr Falck with violence and given a concurrent four year sentence.