Officer ‘heard fan in Hillsborough crush had pulse’

Carl Lewis, one of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster
Carl Lewis, one of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster
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A Liverpool supporter presumed dead was said to have a pulse when he was loaded into an ambulance in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, a court heard.

A police officer told the new inquests that he was ‘certain’ that the comment was made about 18-year-old father-of-one Carl Lewis.

Numerous witnesses gave evidence that they saw no signs of life in the youngster from Liverpool in the aftermath of the crushing on the Leppings Lane terrace at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

But police officer Alan Wadsworth recalled a comment after he helped give CPR to Carl who was laid on the ground outside Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium next to other casualties who had been presumed to have died.

Counsel to the inquest Christina Lambert QC asked him: “When you were assisting in loading Carl into the ambulance, do you remember anything being said that you thought related to Carl?”

He replied: “Yes, I was certain and still am that I heard a comment about him having a pulse.”

Mr Wadsworth said he could not remember who made the comment.

He added: “I remember hearing it for definite because it was sort of a little bit of good news, if you like. My impression was that it was sort of a more confident statement rather than a questioning but I would not rule out that I made a mistake quite obviously, that would be silly, but my recollection is that someone said he had a pulse or there’s a pulse.”

Dr Patrick McHugh, an off-duty anaesthetic registrar at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, arrived at the ground to assist and noted that Carl had no pulse and in layman’s terms was dead.

He recalled there were no signs of life but said he felt that Carl was a fit young male and that it was ‘reasonable’ to continue to try to get him to hospital for more advanced treatment.

Further attempts were made to resuscitate him at the Royal Hallamshire, but he was pronounced dead at 5.40pm on April 15.