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.
To view archive reports from each day of the inquest hearings, click here.
Courtesy of the Liverpool Echo - January 5
Hillsborough victim James Aspinall might have been saved if he had been given earlier and more sustained medical treatment, the inquests heard.
On the final day of evidence in the case, the court heard medical and pathology evidence about six of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster on April 15, 1989.
Eighteen-year-old James, whose mum Margaret is chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, was shown on footage lying on the pitch at 3.26pm.
Police officer Leslie Parkin and Ernest Gillatt, a St John Ambulanceman, were shown kneeling next to the Huyton teenager but neither could recall their interaction with him.
Robert Fox, of South Yorkshire Police, said he had assessed James and performed chest compressions but had covered him with his jacket after getting no response.
The court heard footage showed Mr Fox was with James for a maximum of one minute and 15 seconds.
James was then shown lying on the pitch, unattended, from 3.27pm to 3.29pm.
Medical expert Dr Jasmeet Soar said he could not comment on James’s condition at the time, other than to say he was unconscious.
Judy Khan QC, representing the Aspinall family, said: “The possibilities include the possibility that he was not in cardiac arrest at the conclusion of the crush?”
“He could have suffered from airway compromise which could have taken place in the pen, on the pitch when he is seen lying there, or indeed when he was transported, as we know he was, on the pitch on a hoarding?”
Dr Soar agreed.
Ms Khan added: “Again in this case there is also a possibility that an earlier and more sustained medical effort might have saved James’s life, is that right?”
Dr Soar said: “Yes, earlier intervention before cardiac arrest may have been successful.”
The court heard James was carried across the pitch and confirmed dead in the gymnasium at 3.54pm.
The jury also heard evidence about teenage brothers Carl and Nick Hewitt, from Leicester.
Both were pictured in the pen together between 3.01pm and 3.03pm.
Medical expert Professor Jerry Nolan said he could not be certain of 16-year-old Nick’s condition in the pen but said he was confident Carl, 17, was alive at that time.
Brenda Campbell, representing the family, said: “Alleviation of the crush at that point in time would have alleviated the distress he was under in all likelihood?”
Prof Nolan says: “Yes, so alleviation of the compression from as soon as possible is always going to be a good thing.”
Dr Phillip Weston Bliss had described treating Carl in the six-yard area on the pitch but said he thought there was no response.
The teenager was later carried on a stepladder to the gymnasium where he was confirmed dead at 4.05pm.
The court heard his younger brother Nick was treated on the pitch by ambulanceman Leslie Worrall and off-duty consultant surgeon Christopher Rigby.
When giving evidence Mr Rigby was asked why he had given chest compressions to the teenager and said: “I can’t quite understand that, it must have been a desperate attempt, I think.”
Prof Nolan said he thought Nick was dead when Mr Rigby treated him.
But some witnesses described thinking Nick was alive when they carried him across the pitch after the treatment, before he was given CPR again with no response.
Asked if Nick could have been conscious and breathing while carried on a hoarding, Prof Nolan said: “I think in this context, knowing what happens at the other end of the pitch as well, I don’t think that it is medically plausible.”
The jury was shown footage of 19-year-old David Mather, from Huyton, being carried onto the pitch by Nottingham police officer Adrian Brazener, who was shown placing him in the recovery position before walking away.
Mr Brazener had told the inquests he had checked for a pulse and breathing, although checks could not be seen on footage.
About 40 seconds after Mr Brazener walked away St John Ambulance volunteer Elaine Bunting approached David and started CPR, with professor of surgery Timothy Cooke later joining her to treat the teenager.
Ms Khan, representing David’s family, asked if the gap of 40 seconds would have had the potential to make a difference to the outcome.
Dr Soar said: “Yes, depending on his condition at the time.”
The court heard 38-year-old David Rimmer, from Skelmersdale , was given CPR two, or possibly three, times.
But Dr Soar said “missing information” in the accounts of the resuscitation meant he could not be confident about the dad-of-two’s condition before he was confirmed dead at 4.05pm.
He said: “We have two episodes of CPR, possibly three, where none of the witness statements we have described any signs of life, but we don’t have all the criteria we need to be confident in saying that David was in cardiac arrest during the time we have evidence for.”
A medical expert told the Hillsborough inquests Tony Bland, who died four years after the disaster, had his heart restarted on the pitch.
The court was shown footage of Tony, who remained in a coma until 1993, being given CPR on the pitch.
Intensive care expert Professor Jerry Nolan said the video of off-duty GP Dr Colin Flenley and police constable Steven Plows showed Tony being given “very high quality chest compressions” after he was carried from the pens at 3.23pm.
The court heard that at 3.26pm they felt the 18-year-old’s pulse return and he was then put into a St John Ambulance and taken to hospital.
He said: “On the basis of what we see in the video, plus their witness statements, they say they could not feel any pulses to begin with and then after two and a half minutes they were then able to detect a pulse.
“So, in my opinion, Tony was in cardiorespiratory arrest when he was placed on that pitch, in other words he had no heartbeat and he was not breathing.”
He said he believed Tony’s heart had stopped just minutes before treatment started.
The jury was told Tony started breathing again just before he arrived at the Northern General Hospital, although his condition later deteriorated in hospital.
Jenni Richards QC said: “Is this right, that this might be one of the very rare instances of restoration of heartbeat and in due course respiration following asphyxial cardiac arrest?”
Prof Nolan said: “Yes, I believe that’s correct.”
But he said if Tony, who remained in a persistent vegetative state following the disaster, had been treated earlier there might have been a better outcome.
He said: “There is no doubt that earlier treatment in Tony’s case may well have resulted in a different outcome, there’s not question about that, and it’s particularly true if that treatment had been before the onset of cardiorespiratory arrest.”