Hillsborough Inquests: Activist's son 'could have lived'

Hillsborough Tragedy Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption Ninety-six people died as a result of a crush at the Leppings Lane End at Hillsborough

A leading Hillsborough campaigner's son might have been saved by a "sustained and earlier" intervention, the inquest's last day of evidence heard.

The jury was told about James Aspinall, 18, and five other fans who died at the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989,

James's mother Margaret, the Hillsborough Families' Support Group chairwoman, was a leading campaigner for fresh inquests.

The inquest, the longest in UK legal history, began on 31 March 2014.

Giving evidence, Dr Jasmeet Soar, a resuscitation specialist, told the hearing that "earlier intervention before cardiac arrest" could have saved James's life.

Margaret Aspinall said she was angered to hear her son "could possibly have been saved" and felt she had let him down.

"It hurts... you are reliving the moment your son went out the door and didn't come back."

She added: "It sounds silly but... I was there for his first breath, when he most needed me. As a mum, I let him down."

Who were the 96 victims?

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BBC News: Profiles of all those who died

The inquest also heard that the tragedy's final victim, Tony Bland, received "very high quality chest compressions" which had re-started his heart.

Mr Bland was the final victim to die as a result of a crush at the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest match.

He died in 1993 when the Law Lords ruled that life support could be withdrawn after he spent almost four years in a persistent vegetative state.

Coroner Sir John Goldring is scheduled to begin three weeks of summing up on 25 January, with the jury of seven women and three men due to begin deliberations on 22 February.

The inquests at the purpose-built coroner's court in Birchwood, near Warrington, have been active for a total of 279 days.

Hillsborough Inquests


people lost their lives

  • 21 months since inquests began

  • 4,000 documents shown to the jury

  • 500+ witnesses have given evidence

  • £14m cost so far

Image copyright Getty Images

The 1989 match commander David Duckenfield and South Yorkshire Police are among the 12 individuals and 12 organisations listed as interested parties, along with the families of 95 of the 96 victims.

One victim, Martin Wild, had no family who could be traced by the investigating team.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The hearings in Warrington have lasted 279 days

Verdicts from the first set of inquests held in Sheffield in 1990-91 were quashed by the High Court in 2012 following the publication of a report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

The cost of the new inquests, which were set up in February 2013, had reached £14m by November last year.

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