Socialist Worker

Hillsborough inquests told victim appeared alive

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2461

Hillsborough memorial

Hillsborough memorial (Pic: Edmund Gall / Flickr)


A 16 year old victim of the Hillsborough football disaster appeared alive after the crush, an inquest has heard.

Inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans who died as a result of the 1989 disaster are continuing.

Nick Hewitt and his 17 year old brother Carl were caught in the crush in pen 3.

Fan Peter Finnegan carried a casualty thought to be Nick on a hoarding away from the goal area.

He told the court, “I thought to myself, ‘Who said this person is dead?’. When I looked at him, I could see his eyes and he didn’t appear to me as though they were dilated.”

Former police officer Paul Marsden also helped carry Nick and said he thought Nick was alive when he was put on the hoarding.

He said, “I thought he made a noise, like a moan, like a moan of discomfort, when we started running across the pitch.”

He agreed that he could have made a mistake.

Fan David Martland helped carry Nick. He said, “He wasn’t like the other bodies around us. There wasn’t a mark on him.

“He was just staring at us, just, you know, like a cry for help.”

Former police constable Steven Hirst saw Carl on the pitch and said he was “totally confident” that Carl had died.

Evidence

The jury heard evidence relating to 34 year old victim Vincent Fitzsimmons, who was in pen 3, on Friday of last week.

Former police constable Richard Shimwell gave first aid to a man thought to be Vincent. He told the court he didn’t hear a heartbeat and thought Vincent was dead.

Liverpool fan Stephen Mitton helped carry Vincent to the stadium gym and said he saw no sign of life.

He added, “I think there was police just stood outside the gymnasium. I couldn’t understand why they were just stood there.”

Fifteen year old victim Kevin Williams was placed on the pitch near Vincent while Stephen stood with him. Stephen told the court, “I remember looking across at the young lad from where I was stood. To me, his face looked different from the other dead people.

“It just looked as though he had a bit of colour in him.”

The jury heard more evidence about Colin Ashcroft and 20 year old victim Gordon Rodney Horn on Tuesday of last week.

Christopher Rigby, a consultant surgeon, attended the match at Hillsborough and helped casualties.

The court saw footage showing Christopher giving chest compressions to Colin at around 3.20pm.

He confirmed that it would have been easy to make mistakes on the day as crush injuries can lead to the appearance of lack of pulse and breathing.

Gordon was caught in the crush in pen 4. Former police constable Adrian Agar helped carry him from the pitch afterwards. He said, “He was extremely pale, there was no signs of life.”

Agar said he had “no doubt” that Gordon was dead and confirmed he saw no one check for signs of life. Former officer Timothy Southwell also confirmed that he didn’t see any checks for signs of life.

Liverpool fan Gary Williams-Verrall said he “assumed he was unconscious” but performed no checks on him.


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Article information

News
Tue 7 Jul 2015, 18:07 BST
Issue No. 2461
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