Police officer hoped he had saved life of young Hillsborough victim

Lee Nicol, who was 14 when he died in the Hillsborough disaster (pic courtesy of the Liverpool Echo)
Lee Nicol, who was 14 when he died in the Hillsborough disaster (pic courtesy of the Liverpool Echo)
Have your say

A police officer who cared for one of the youngest victims of the Hillsborough disaster said he believed he thought the boy had responded to resuscitation attempts.

Former policeman Keith Marsh gave evidence about his involvement in the attempts to save the life of 14-year-old Lee Nicol at the new inquests.

Lee had got to the ground with a friend around two hours before kick-off.

They were caught in a crowd surge shortly before the match started and Lee was knocked to the ground.

Other supporters managed to pick him up and pass him over the terrace fence to policemen by the pitch including Mr Marsh.

Mr Marsh said he saw a small boy being passed towards the gate to pen two as he entered the stadium and made his way to the perimeter fence as the players were walking off the field at around 3.06pm.

He said: “All I remember is that at some stage I took Lee from other officers and moved him to a more secure location on the pitch.

“He just appeared to need some help, and I just thought that was my opportunity to perhaps help that little boy, so I just took it on myself to try and intervene.”

He said he felt for a pulse in Lee’s neck and wrist, but was unable to find one so gave him mouth-to-mouth and Lee was sick very quickly after that.

A man identified himself as a doctor and the two of them administered CPR but with no response.

They carried him to a stretcher and Mr Marsh went with Lee to hospital in an ambulance.

Mr Marsh was asked if there were any signs of life in Lee when he treated him.

He said: “I firmly believed in my own mind, and I don’t know how I came to that opinion, I thought Lee had responded to the resuscitation, he was just in a state of being unconscious, but possibly alive, and so I stayed with him in order to help him wherever I could.”

In his 1989 statement he said he repeated the resuscitation on Lee in the ambulance and ‘eventually we got a response’.

Mr Marsh told the inquests he could not remember that now and it was ambulance staff who took care of Lee in the ambulance.

He said: “I was hopeful again, that the people who had been involved in Lee’s care had done enough for him to have a chance.”

Lee was taken to the Northern General Hospital but was pronounced dead on Monday, April 17, two days after the disaster after tests showed no sign of brain activity.

His organs, including his kidneys and heart valves were donated and used to save the lives of other patients.

Dr Terence Appleyard, who was a consultant anaesthetist in charge of the general intensive therapy unit at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital in 1989, told the hearing that Lee would never have been able to live independently of machinery.

The hearings continue.