Socialist Worker

Hillsborough cop says he didn't cover victim with bin bag

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2470

Fresh inquests resumed last week into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans who died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster.

The inquests have heard evidence relating to individual fans’ last movements.

Gerard Baron, who died aged 67, was the oldest victim. The court last week heard evidence from his son, Gerard Baron Jr, who was with him in pen 3.

He described his dad having a look of “sheer terror” on his face as the crush worsened.

South Yorkshire Police inspector Robert Purdy gave Gerard CPR. In a statement Purdy said Gerard’s “lungs started to fill up”. He added, “I thought he had a chance.”

Hillsborough victim Eric Hankin died aged 33. Police constable Richard Liversidge described in his notebook helping a man thought to be Eric.

He said, “As we carried him he opened his eyes and I could see he was alive. When he got some space and air, he seemed to recover a lot, and after a minute or two he managed to sit up.”

Liversidge also helped Gerard Baron. His notebook entry said, “He appeared to be dead, but also seemed to have a glimmer of life left in him.”

Tommy Howard, 39, and his 14 year old son Tommy Jr both died as a result of the disaster. They were in pen 3.

Police constable Graham Butler told the inquests he found Tommy Jr lying on the pitch following the crush. He said, “I saw a glimpse of what I thought was life. I thought I saw a flicker in his eyes and he was warm. I thought there was a chance he might survive.”

Police constable Peter Muir said he saw Tommy Howard lying at the front of pen 3. He told the court, “I had to move people from above Mr Howard to be able to get to Mr Howard.

“Mr Howard was the only one I could see that I thought I could see signs of life for.”

In a statement Muir said he saw a “flicker of the eyes and movement of the lips” in Tommy Howard.

Peter Tootle died aged 21 after being crushed in pen 3. Police officer Jon Frend found Peter lying on the ground near the pitch after the crush. He said in a 1989 statement that it was “obvious” Peter was dead. He told the court that he covered Peter with his anorak.

Mark George questioned Frend on behalf of Peter’s family. He said footage showed Peter’s face was covered with a bin bag. Frend said, “As far as I’m aware my coat was used.”

David Roberts gave evidence to the inquests on Monday of this week. Two of his friends, Alan McGlone and Joseph Clark, died as a result of the disaster. David told the court that the three were crushed towards the front of pen 3.

He said he ended up on the pitch after the pressure from the crush forced a gate in the perimeter fence open. “It was like water,” he said. “I was poured onto the pitch.”

David climbed onto the fence to look for Joseph and Alan. He said initially Joseph made a joke, but later the crush got worse. David said, “He couldn’t move, but he shouted to me, ‘Get me out! Get me out!’”

The inquests continue.

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