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 Guardian - July 9
The lack of bolt cutting equipment at Hillsborough in 1989 caused delays in helping people trapped in the lethal crush behind the high metal and mesh fences in front of the Leppings Lane terraces, the new inquests into the disaster have heard.
In the absence of bolt cutters, police officers ended up trying to tear the metal fences apart with their bare hands to get to trapped spectators at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
BBC footage of Liverpool fans and police desperately rocking and kicking the mesh in the fences was played at the court in Warrington on Thursday, as it heard evidence about another of the 96 people who died, David Rimmer, who was crushed in "pen" four of the terrace.
Rimmer, 38, a sales manager, was married with two young children - Kate, then seven, and Paul, then nine. He had gone to the semi-final with his friend, Geoff Bridson, who gave evidence in court. Bridson said they became separated and he lost sight of David, the last time he ever saw him, in a forward movement of the crowd which was "very uncomfortable" and later became "a lot worse".
Andrew Justice, a South Yorkshire police constable on duty that day, said in a statement the day after the disaster that he saw a man, believed to be David Rimmer, being passed down the pen by other supporters over their heads, looking lifeless, "like a dummy".
Justice, who was on the other side of the fence, wrote: "I didn't believe it was a human being. Fans shouting at us to get him out. Reached down for him [by standing on advertising hoardings and bending over the fence]. Fans tried to lift him up, but we couldn't reach him."
Linda Kirby, David Rimmer's wife when he died, told the inquests she fell in love with him at first sight, and described him as "a lovely family man who adored his children and wife". She was in court with Kate and Paul, both now in their thirties, to hear and see the distressing evidence.
Justice said that after being unable to lift Rimmer over the fence, he went into the pen through a gate in the fence, and found Rimmer on his own on the ground. With another police officer, Andrew West, Justice said he tried to revive Rimmer, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until he ran out of breath and another officer, Sergeant William McCall, took over.
McCall, giving evidence in person, recalled in a controlled, subdued voice the horror he saw in pen four. He said he had gone into the adjoining pen five, which had nobody in it, and could see David Rimmer in pen four lying on the ground unattended, but could not get to him because "there were that many people crushed up to the front".
McCall said he could not jump in straight away. "I was jumping into bodies," he explained.
He believed he gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for just half a minute - he did not recall another officer doing chest compressions, as Justice had - before deciding that Rimmer could not be revived.
McCall described the supporters and police officers tearing at the fence in front of pen four with their bare hands.
"It was very, very difficult at that time for them," he said. "I think it was very, very well made, the front of the fencing. But in the situation that they were in, they did keep going, until they managed to pull the fencing away to find a hole big enough to get people through."
Rajiv Menon QC, representing Linda Kirby and her children Kate and Paul, asked McCall: "If there had been necessary equipment present to tear that fence down, David would have been removed from that pen much earlier?"
"Yes," McCall replied, "I think that's fair enough."
Justice confirmed that once the hole had been torn in the fence, he helped to pass David Rimmer through it, then other police officers laid him on the pitch. Rimmer was then placed on an advertising hoarding and carried up the pitch by four police officers and two unnamed men assumed to be Liverpool supporters, to the gymnasium which police were using to receive the dead bodies.
Having arrived in Sheffield at around 2:30pm to watch the football match, at 4:05pm Rimmer was pronounced dead in the gymnasium by a doctor, Alan Redgrave, who also certified 13 other people as dead.
Rimmer's brother-in-law, Stan Gaskell, drove to Sheffield from his home in the Wigan area, the inquests were told, after hearing on the radio of the problems at Hillsborough and being unable to get through on the emergency phone number. At 11:55pm that night, Gaskell identified David's body to the South Yorkshire police officer on duty, sergeant Paul Cropley, in the gymnasium at Hillsborough.
The inquests continue.