Fan was separated from friend in crush

Hillsborough victim Barry Bennett. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo
Hillsborough victim Barry Bennett. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo
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A Liverpool fan who died in the Hillsborough disaster was separated from his friend as they went into the ground, an inquest heard.

Barry Bennett, who was 26, had gone to the FA Cup semi-final in 1989 with four friends, with three of the others having tickets for the North Stand.

Barry and Kevin Carroll were both in the Leppings Lane end and arrived at the ground about 2.20pm.

Mr Carroll told the new inquests there had been a mass of fans outside the turnstiles and at about 2.55pm a policeman told them the gate was open, which they then went through.

He said: “I followed the crowd because I hadn’t been at the ground before. The crowd went down a tunnel at a fairly quick walking pace.”

He said he was separated from Barry outside the turnstiles and after the game was called off went to meet Barry and his other friends at a pre-arranged meeting place.

But Barry did not turn up and the group then went to hospital, prior to his body being identified in the Hillsborough gym at 12.35am the following morning by Ian Johnson, another member of the group.

The court was shown footage taken between 3.06pm and 3.08pm showing Barry in distress in the crush in Pen Three in the Leppings Lane end.

No other evidence was available about his experience in the pen or how he was removed from it.

But some of the people who tried to treat him on the pitch gave evidence to the jury.

James Lee, who was a trainee detective constable in Lancashire Police at the game as a Liverpool supporter, went on to the pitch to help the injured.

He said there was no response from Barry and he couldn’t find a pulse when he checked for one.

Dr Diane Griffiths, who had been attending the match as a spectator, gave Barry chest compressions. He was one of three or four casualties she tried to help.

She said: “I was trying to find an area where I could use my own advanced skills but could not find the proper equipment necessary to carry this out or an area where equipment such as intravenous drips were set up.

“There didn’t seem to be a central point where equipment was available or where you could take to casualties.”