The Hillsborough inquests commenced on March 31, 2014 and are the subject of reporting restrictions that have been imposed by the Attorney General's office. Liverpool Football Club is respectful of these restrictions and will therefore only be making available updates from other media channels for the duration of the inquest.
The report below - and the witness testimony contained within it - does not necessarily reflect the views of Liverpool FC. Please be aware that the reports on these pages will contain evidence about the day of the disaster which may be distressing.
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Courtesy of the Liverpool Echo - December 4
Photos showed a mum-of-two losing consciousness on the terrace at Hillsborough, the inquests heard.
The court, in Birchwood Park, Warrington, continued to hear expert medical and pathology evidence about the 96 Liverpool fans who died following the disaster at the semi-final on April 15, 1989.
The jury was shown a sequence of photos of London mum-of-two Inger Shah at the front of pen three during the crush.
The court heard Gary Oyitch, who had gone to the match with Inger and Marian McCabe, 21, who also died, had been pushed into Inger during the crush and said he thought she had “gone”.
Intensive care expert Professor Jerry Nolan said a sequence of pictures, taken at about 3.02pm, appeared to show her slipping into unconsciousness.
He said: “If we combine the images with the witness statement from Mr Oyitch, it certainly suggests that we may well be seeing Inger’s fingers relaxed, initially being actively flexed around the top of that fence, then they have relaxed away and fallen down.
“That would certainly be consistent with somebody losing consciousness.”
He added: “That would also suggest that Inger was alive, certainly at the beginning of that sequence.”
The court heard there was no evidence of a reliable assessment of Inger’s condition before she was confirmed dead in the gymnasium at 3.55pm.
Prof Nolan said: “I think we can be confident that Inger was unconscious during this period.
“It is possible that she even rapidly evolves to a state of cardiac arrest.
“But, equally, there will be a period of time when she may well have been breathing and had a heartbeat.”
The court heard 22-year-old David Benson, from Warrington, may also have been shown on photos losing consciousness during the crush.
The jury was shown a number of photos of the dad-of-one between 3.02pm and 3.04pm.
Prof Nolan said: “It is very clear to me that he is definitely alive around the time of those photos.”
He added: “Certainly one gets the impression that he may be becoming unconscious in one or two of those photos with his head down and his eyes closed.”
The court heard David was carried out of the tunnel and treated in the inner concourse by spectator Terrence Pitt, who had received first aid training in the Army.
But Prof Nolan said there was a question mark about the treatment given by Mr Pitt and a policewoman, because they were not healthcare professionals.
He said there was a chance David was alive when CPR finished.
He says: “I would say it is a small chance, but it is still a real possibility.”
Forensic pathologists said a post-mortem did not show typical signs of traumatic asphyxia.
Dr Nat Cary said: “This is the sort of case where, because the changes are not so florid, it is the sort of case where he may have ultimately gone into cardiac arrest due to complications of unconsciousness, being in a bad posture, or perhaps die to smothering, being in a situation where his face was forced into other individuals.”
Pathologists said a post-mortem for 16-year-old Kester Ball, who was born in Maghull but lived in St Albans, showed his brain had swollen.
But Dr Cary said they were unable to say if that was due to a condition called cerebral oedema - which would mean he had survived for an hour or more after the crush.
He said: “I think it is reasonable to conclude that there was brain swelling in this case, but it is not possible to be sure that that brain swelling is cerebral oedema, in other words, a process that takes some time to develop, but that possibility certainly can’t be excluded.”
The court heard Kester was last seen alive in photos at 3.04pm and confirmed dead at 4.33pm.
Photos of 18-year-old Jonathon Owens, from Chester, showed he was apparently alive at 3.03pm.
Pathologists said an injury to Jonathon’s windpipe revealed in his post-mortem suggested he had died during the crush.
Dr Cary said the rupture to the windpipe was likely to have occurred during the crush.
He said: “It might have been during the course of quite a severe crush with him up against a structure or down on the ground and indeed, if that were the case, he may well have been already unconscious when this injury happened.”
Pathologist Dr William Lawler said the injury had not caused air to get into the tissues - which suggested that Jonathon had died soon after it was sustained.
Medical experts said they believed Jonathon was dead by the time he received CPR at the Kop end of the pitch at 3.35pm.
The Hillsborough inquests also heard there was no clear evidence of treatment or assessment of a teenager - but bruises might suggest he was alive when carried from the pen or placed onto a hoarding.
The court heard Huyton 17-year-old Graham Wright had been in pen three with friend James Aspinall, 18, who also died.
He was later found in the penalty box of the Leppings Lane end by a police officer and carried to the Kop end, where photos showed him lying on the pitch with a jacket covering his face.
He was then carried to the gymnasium, where he was confirmed dead at 4.10pm.
Intensive care expert Dr Jasmeet Soar said: “I think the only thing I can say with any certainty is, in the photographs at the Spion Kop end, when he appears to be facedown and covered, he was most likely unconscious, but I can’t say any more than that.”
A post-mortem report showed bruises on Graham’s upper arm which suggested he had been gripped while alive.
Pathologist Dr Nat Cary said he could not say when the bruises were sustained.
Pete Weatherby QC, representing some members of Graham’s family, said: “It could have been somebody in the crush gripping Graham or it could be somebody recovering Graham from the crush or indeed it could be somebody putting Graham on a hoarding, for example?”
Dr Cary says: “All of those are possible.”