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 4

A boyfriend and girlfriend who both died at Hillsborough might have survived if they had different medical treatment, the inquests heard.

Sheffield University student Tracey Cox, 23, and boyfriend Richard, or Rick, Jones, 25, were among the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

The court heard the couple had been together, with Rick’s sister Stephanie Conning, in pen three of the Leppings Lane terrace.

But Ms Conning lost sight of Tracey after seeing her fall down in the crowd and being picked back up.

Tracey was carried onto the pitch at 3.26pm, where she was given mouth-to-mouth by police sergeant Malcolm France.

But the court heard she was not given chest compressions.

Mr France said he felt for a pulse in her wrist but couldn’t feel one and then covered her head with a jacket.

She was carried to the gymnasium where she was confirmed dead at 3.54pm.

Medical expert Dr Jasmeet Soar said he could not comment on Tracey’s precise condition when Mr France treated her, other than to say she was possibly not breathing.

He said there was a possibility that earlier intervention could have made a difference.

Judy Khan QC, representing Tracey’s family, said: “In her case there is also a possibility that if there had been a more sustained effort and chest compressions that might have made a difference, is that right?”

Dr Soar said: “Yes that is correct.”

The court heard Rick, a chemistry graduate, was seen lying on the pitch by spectator John Walsh, who said he thought he heard someone say they had felt a pulse.

Rick was carried across the pitch at 3.30pm and taken to the gymnasium.

Police officer Paul Bromley described giving Rick CPR outside the gym, but the court heard there was some doubt about whether the casualty he treated was Rick.

Dr Soar said he was uncertain about Rick’s precise condition before he was confirmed dead at 4pm.

Ms Khan, representing Rick’s family, said: “There’s a possibility, isn’t there, that the outcome could have been better if he’d simply been dealt with at the Leppings Lane end?”

Dr Soar said: “Yes that is correct.”

The inquests also heard about 20-year-old Gordon Horn from West Derby.

He was seen being lifted on a hoarding on the pitch at about 3.30pm.

But witnesses who helped to carry him, including two police officers, gave no evidence of any treatment or checks being carried out.

PC Stephen O’Shea had described giving CPR to Gordon after he was carried to an area near the gymnasium, but had told the inquests he couldn’t be sure the casualty he treated was Gordon.

Intensive care expert Professor Jerry Nolan gave a time window for Gordon’s death of between 2.58pm and 4pm.

Nick Brown, representing Gordon’s family, said: “The long and the short of it is, the problem in this case is there’s an absence of evidence, isn’t it?”

Prof Nolan said: “I certainly agree that we cannot be certain and we’ve left the (time) window out for those reasons, because of a lack of evidence.”

The jury were also told about 26-year-old deep sea tugboatman Barry Bennett, from Aintree.

A photo showed him in pen three at 3.06pm, although Prof Nolan said he could not comment on his condition at that time.

The next photos of Barry showed him being given CPR at the Kop end.

The court heard resuscitation attempts were made by a number of healthcare professionals, including Dr Glyn Phillips - who had earlier successfully resuscitated someone believed to be in cardiac arrest at the Leppings Lane end of the pitch.

Barry was later taken away from the ground in an ambulance but was confirmed dead at the Northern General Hospital.

Prof Nolan said he thought Barry was dead by the time Dr Phillips was seen on photos treating him, at about 3.36pm.

He said: “That’s because we have somebody we know is an experienced healthcare provider, we have other evidence of that, who does describe multiple pulse checks and high quality CPR for which there is no response.”

But he agreed earlier treatment might have meant Barry survived.

Ms Khan, representing the family, said: “You can’t rule out the possibility that he might have survived if there had been the type of effort at the Spion Kop end at an earlier stage at the Leppings Lane end.”

Prof Nolan said: “That is possible.”

Bruises on the arms of two Hillsborough victims could mean they still had a circulation when they were carried from the terrace.

Dad-of-two Eric Hughes, originally from Speke, was carried from the pen at 3.26pm and given CPR on the pitch by police officers Barbara Hardwick and Neil Mutch, while his friend Stanley Mullin held his hand.

The officers said they were told by a doctor to stop treatment.

Eric was carried to the Kop end of the pitch and then to the gymnasium, where he was confirmed dead between 3.45pm and 4.10pm.

A post-mortem recorded faint bruises on Eric’s right upper arm, which forensic pathologist Dr Nat Cary said could have been caused by him being gripped as he was carried from the pen, if he had a circulation then.

But, he said they may have been caused during the crush.

Commenting on the autopsy report, Dr Cary said: “This does not appear to be a case of classic traumatic asphyxia with a rapid death.

“This is a case where there could have been a more prolonged death during the crush or a case where he could have actually asphyxiated as a result of unconsciousness and complications.”

Graham Roberts, a 24-year-old British Gas engineer from Wallasey, was last seen alive in photos taken between 3.03pm and 3.05pm.

The court heard he was carried to the concourse at the back of the terrace after the crush and confirmed dead at 4.25pm.

Dr Cary said Graham’s post-mortem showed signs of classic traumatic asphyxia, which would be consistent with a rapid death, but his arms showed bruises which could have been caused when he was carried from the pen.

He said: “On the one hand we have this potential for rapid cardiac arrest, on the other hand bruising to the arms that might be the result of recovery from the crush which would require the circulation to be functioning then.”

Gary McAllister

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