Socialist Worker

Hillsborough inquests hear of signs of life

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2484

Fresh inquests into the deaths of victims crushed during the Hillsborough football disaster have heard evidence of signs of life following the crush.

Some 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of the 1989 disaster.

Pathologists Dr Nat Cary and Professor Guy Rutty gave evidence to the inquests on Thursday of last week. They said that bruising on the arms of victim Tommy Howard Snr might suggest he was alive when he was carried out of a pen.

Cary said the bruises would be consistent with police constable Peter Muir’s evidence that he carried Tommy after around 3.17pm.

This was after the cut-off time of 3.15pm for evidence imposed in the original inquests.

The court heard that Muir described seeing Tommy’s eyes flicker and his lips move. Muir said he felt a faint pulse.

Medical expert Dr Jasmeet Soar said this suggested signs of life, although some evidence was unreliable.

Two witnesses also said they saw Tommy’s son, 14 year old Tommy Jr, and that his eyes were moving. Soar said this could be a “sign of life or a sign of circulation”.

The jury heard that a police constable, David Pearson, had said he felt a slight pulse in victim Adam Spearritt when giving him CPR.

A post-mortem report showed that 62 year old victim John Anderson had suffered a split in the main pipe taking blood from his heart. Soar said that this would have meant he could not have survived.

The coroner, Sir John Goldring, told the court that the inquests were expected to finish hearing evidence by the Christmas break. He is due to start summing up on 25 January and the jury is expected to consider their decision in late February.

The inquests continue

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