Barbara Mills

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png Barbara Mills  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England
Died2011-05-28 (Age 70)
Alma materLady Margaret Hall (Oxford)
SpouseJohn A. Mills
A UK DPP and SFO director whose tactics included the 75-year embargo

Barbara Mills


SFO Director

Barbara Mills was Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) from 1990 to 1992, during investigations of Barlow Clowes, Blue Arrow, Robert Maxwell's Mirror Group, and Polly Peck. During that period, the SFO was investigating a company set up by her brother-in-law David Mills, then husband of Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, in connection with bribery allegations against Silvio Berlusconi, but declined to investigate Mills himself.[1] David Mills was later found guilty of accepting a cash bribe from Berlusconi, but the conviction was quashed by Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation.[2][3]

From 1992 to 1998 she was Director of Public Prosecutions, the first woman to hold that position. As DPP she also served as the second head of the Crown Prosecution Service, with 6,000 staff considering the prosecution of 1.4 million cases each year. During her term in this office, levels of bureaucracy in the CPS were high and morale was low.[4] She worked to increase the efficiency of the CPS, and introduced victim impact statements.

After a report by the West Yorkshire Police into abuses at the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, she agreed that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute any of the officers at the squad, a decision for which she was widely criticised.[5] She was criticised when the CPS declined to prosecute suspects for the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993. She resigned in 1998 after she was criticised in reports by Gerald Butler and Sir Iain Glidewell for repeatedly refusing to bring prosecutions over deaths in police custody.[6] She also ordered a 75-year embargo restriction on the Devon and Cornwall Police Investigation of failures by West Midlands Police in the case of the Birmingham six. On 1 June 2016 the Coroner re-opened the inquests after a 42-year adjournment a decision opposed by West Midlands Police.



  1. David Mills: The networker, The Independent, 25 February 2006
  2. "Tessa Jowell's husband David Mills jailed for four years over Silvio Berlusconi bribe", The Daily Telegraph (London), 18 February 2009
  3. "Background: Tessa Jowell, David Mills and Silvio Berlusconi", The Guardian (London), 17 February 2009
  4. Dame Barbara Mills, obituary in the Daily Telegraph, 29 May 2011
  5. Statewatch 1992, p. 3, Morton 2011
  6. {{URL||optional display text}}