Liverpool

Hillsborough Inquests: Ex-PC thanked for resuscitating boy

Hillsborough disaster Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ninety-six Liverpool fans died following the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough

A former PC who helped save an unconscious 12-year-old boy during the Hillsborough disaster wept in court after she was thanked for her actions.

Alison Schofield told an inquest jury in Warrington how she resuscitated the youngster with the help of a colleague.

A barrister for a group of Hillsborough families said he had been asked to pass on his clients' gratitude and said they wished "there had been more" like her.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died following the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

Mrs Schofield, giving evidence at the new Hillsborough Inquests, said she noticed another PC carrying the unconscious boy away from the pens and approached them.

Priority patient

Stephen Simblet, who represents a group of Hillsborough families, said the boy would have "appeared dead" as he was unconscious.

An officer, only mentioned to the inquest as PC Kirby, checked his pulse and former midwife Mrs Schofield - who had joined South Yorkshire Police 18 months previously - checked his breathing.

She said they then started giving the boy mouth-to-mouth and heart massage.

Mrs Schofield said he was put in the recovery position and was placed on a stretcher.

She then accompanied him to the stadium's gym to wait for an ambulance.

She told the jury an off-duty doctor assessed him and put a sticker on his right shoulder, which indicated he was a priority patient and needed to go to hospital.

Mrs Schofield said: "He remained unconscious for the whole of the time that I was with him, so obviously he needed a transfer to intensive care for further support."

She said using information from the original inquests in the early 1990s, together with a "process of elimination", she was able to confirm he had survived.

Mr Simblet said Mrs Schofield's experience during the disaster had affected her in later life.

He added: "Some of the families that I represent have asked me to say to you that they are grateful for the efforts that you made and they wish there had been more like you when it came to those efforts and that you prevented perhaps a 97th family being in the position that they are in."

Mrs Schofield then wiped tears from her eyes and was asked if she was happy to continue giving evidence.

Jenni Richards QC, representing Yorkshire Ambulance Service, asked Mrs Schofield to confirm she did not know what injuries the boy had sustained compared to other casualties.

She confirmed that was the case and said he was the only casualty she dealt with that day.

'Hit with pressure'

Later, the hearing heard from a fan who passed out during a crush inside pen 3 and was in the West Stand above the terraces when he regained consciousness.

Philip Duggan told the jury he was standing in front of a barrier that collapsed under the weight of the crowd.

Mr Duggan, who was 17 at the time, said: "One moment I had lots of room, next I didn't. So very slowly it was getting tighter and tighter down there.

"The pressure was sort of coming from the front as well as fans coming from the side of the barrier and not moving. I was sort of hit with the pressure as they were being forced backwards."

The witness said his hands were wedged down by his sides and his feet were "rarely" on the ground.

Speaking through tears, he added: "The noise was almost impossible to describe: people screaming, obviously in distress, people shouting for kids. People shouting to the pitchside for help.

Image copyright Inquest handout
Image caption Philip Duggan told the jury he was "hit from behind" by what he believes to be a falling barrier

"In the midst of all this you can faintly hear the crowd at the back still chanting and singing, obviously oblivious to what's going on down there."

Mr Duggan described how he was "hit from behind" by what he believes to be the barrier collapsing and lost consciousness.

He later regained consciousness and wasn't certain how he got to the West Stand above.

Mark George QC, who represents 22 of the bereaved families, said: "I don't want to be dramatic about it, but the reality is that you were lucky that you weren't number 97?'

Mr Duggan replied: "Without a doubt."

He told the hearing he saw a gate opened at one point and two boys who had climbed over a fence to escape had returned to the pen.

"I didn't actually see the policeman pushing them back in, but they were certainly ushering them in," he said.

The inquests continue.

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