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Anne Williams and The Fight For Justice

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Guest Mottman

Anne Williams is the chairperson of The Hillsborough Justice Campaign. The campaign continues the fight for justice for the dead, the bereaved and the survivors of the Hillsborough Disaster, and meets each Monday evening at the offices in Oakfield Road. These meetings, as well as the support she receives, give Anne the resolve to continue the fight for justice for her son, Kevin.


Hillsborough was Kevin?s first away trip to watch the reds, and he arrived early at the ground, standing near the front of pen 3. When a senior police officer gave the order to open the exit gates in order to ease the build-up of fans waiting outside, most fans headed straight for the central pens. These pens were already full but the police made no attempt to divert fans to the unfilled pens on the wings. Sheffield Wednesday FC had not thought it necessary to signpost the fact that entry could be gained to the terracing without entering through the central tunnels. Those unfamiliar with the ground headed for the most obvious entry, which was through the tunnels at Leppings Lane into the pens which were already full. Once in, there was no way out.


Kevin was caught up in the ensuing crush, and at about 3.28pm his body was pulled out of the crowd by other desperate fans, who carried him to the North Stand on an advertising hoarding. There, an off-duty police officer, who was attending the match as a supporter, noticed Kevin moving. Together with a St John?s ambulance man they attempted heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, eventually they found a pulse. They tried to get him to an ambulance but the only ambulance that the police had allowed onto the pitch drove straight past to the original scene of the disaster. At around 3.37 another ambulance man shone a light into Kevin?s eyes and pronounced him dead??..he was not.


Debra Martin, a Sheffield Special Constable, made a statement revealing how she escorted Kevin?s body to a makeshift mortuary set up in the gymnasium below the ground?s North Stand. She attempted, once again, to resuscitate Kevin and amazingly found a pulse. As she cradled Kevin in her arms, he opened his eyes, murmured the word ?mum? and slumped back. At 4.00pm Kevin died in her arms.


Debra Martin?s evidence has never been heard in open court, indeed when the inquest into the disaster was held the coroner imposed a cut-off time of 3.15pm. No evidence of events after this time has ever been heard in a UK court, which effectively ruled out evidence into how the victims were treated in the aftermath of the disaster. Peter Carney, a member of HJC, for example, was left for dead by authorities, until a friend saw and helped him.


Specifically in Kevin?s case, it was assumed he was dead by 3.15. At the very least witnesses who claimed to the contrary should have been called to give evidence to the jury. Other pertinent facts were omitted from evidence. Oxygen cylinders, which could have saved Kevin?s life, were available but remained outside the stadium as the ambulances that contained them were not allowed inside. The Police officers, trained in emergency situations, who should have assisted in the admission of these ambulances, stood idly by in a cordon across the halfway line allegedly in an attempt to keep rival fans apart.


A verdict of accidental death was recorded against Kevin and the other victims, with ?Traumatic Asphyxia? being given as the cause of death. The inquests were the longest in British legal history (at one point the coroner insensitively announced that ?We are now eligible for The Guiness Book of Records?). In 1993 a Judicial Review ruled that it was not ?in the public interest? to re-open the inquests. A scrutiny chaired by Lord Justice Stuart Smith in 1997 concluded that there would be no new public inquiry into the disaster or its aftermath. In June 2000, other bereaved families brought a private prosecution against Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who was in overall command at Hillsborough and his deputy, superintendent Bernard Murray. Murray was acquitted whilst the jury failed to reach a verdict over Duckenfield. It was later revealed that if either had been found guilty they would not have faced a custodial sentence, as this had been agreed in a pre-hearing judgement.


Over thirteen years later Anne Williams, members of the HJC and Liverpool fans remain as determined as ever to establish accountability over the events of 15th April 1989. They refuse to accept the verdict of ?Accidental Death? and argue that by imposing the cut-off point of 3.15pm, the coroner effectively ruled out a verdict, which could have incorporated ?Lack of Care?.


Kevin Williams died through ?Lack of Care?. His mother, Anne, has courted the opinion of countless professionals, amongst them eminent forensic pathologists, all of whom reject ?Traumatic Asphyxia? as a cause of death. The most recent to support Anne?s case is the Home Office Consultant Pathologist Dr Nathanial Cary, effectively the leading UK expert in the field of forensic pathology. His views concur with those of Dr James Burns and Dr Iain West before him, both very highly experienced and highly regarded forensic pathologists.


In a report soon to be submitted to the Attorney General, as part of a memorial to have the inquest into the death of Kevin Williams re-opened, Dr Cary writes:


?I support the view that Dr Slater [pathologist who carried out the autopsy on Kevin] was incorrect in ascribing death as being due to traumatic asphyxia when the term is used properly. Based on the pathological findings described by him and the external findings that I have seen in photographs, the appropriate cause of death should now have been ?compression of the neck?.?


Dr Cary goes on to explain that Kevin may not have died had relatively simple medical procedures taken place, equipment such as oxygen and tubing may have saved Kevin?s life.


Anne Williams will submit this report of Dr Cary, along with other new evidence, to the Attorney General and will be asking him to quash the verdict on Kevin. She will be arguing that Kevin died of injuries other than those established at the inquest and that he possibly could have been saved had he received the correct treatment at the time. She will also state that as a result of the imposed 3.15pm cut-off, Kevin never received a fair hearing and this is in contradiction of his fundamental human rights.


In spite of all the previous set-backs and the deep-seated failure of the British Legal System to provide Justice for her dead son, Anne Williams remains optimistic:


?The legal system has failed us many times but I believe that in the end the truth will win out. We just have to keep chipping away at the brick wall the legal system has placed in front of us. 96 people died because of a lack of care. This needs to be acknowledged. Maybe then, the dead can rest in peace.?


A more complete account of Anne Williams fight for justice can be found in her book ?When You Walk Through A Storm?.



Article written by Sheila Coleman and originally posted by John_Mac.


Justice for The Hillsborough Victims


A more complete account of Anne Williams fight for justice can be found in her book ?When You Walk Through A Storm?.


Copies are now available priced at £10.00 each plus £ 0.50 Post and packing (UK) £ 1.00 Overseas.


Where to send orders to:


You can either pay by cheque or postal order made payable to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and send to:


Hillsborough Justice Campaign

P O Box 1089

178 Walton Breck Road


L69 4WR


If paying by cheque or postal order, please allow 7 - 10 days for delivery, please ensure that you include your full name and address together with a note requesting a copy of the book.


Copy of the order form




Justice for The Hillsborough Victims


In their name and in their memory 96 Candles still burn bright

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