Father Whose Daughters Were Killed Describes ‘Worst Moment Of My Life’ To Hillsborough Trial

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Father Whose Daughters Were Killed Describes 'Worst Moment Of My Life' To Hillsborough Trial


PA Wire/PA ImagesJenni Hicks (left) lost daughters Victoria and Sarah in the Hillsborough disaster A father whose two daughters were killed in the Hillsborough disaster has told a court of the “worst moment” of his life as he travelled to hospital with one girl while her sister was on the pitch.Trevor Hicks, whose daughters Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, died on 15 April, 1989, gave evidence at the trial of match commander David Duckenfield at Preston Crown Court on Monday.He said the two girls had been in the central pens of the Leppings Lane terrace, while he had been in a pen to the side and his wife Jenni was in the North Stand.He said as kick-off approached the pens seemed “very full” and it was clear there were problems.Hicks said he and another man, whose son was in one of the pens, shouted up to a police officer on the gantry next to the police control box.He said: “We were basically shouting ‘Look, can’t you see things are going badly wrong’.”Asked how the police officer responded, he said: “He told me to shut my ‘fucking prattle’.”

He said he later spoke to a second police officer who did not respond.“We were helpless, we were just the crowd and were in the hands of the organisers and the policemen obviously,” he said.He said he thought he saw Victoria being carried out of the terrace so he left the pen and then found both girls on the pitch.He said: “They were almost side by side.”He then went in an ambulance to hospital with Victoria while Sarah was still being treated on the pitch.He told the court: “That was probably the worst moment of my life.“I had two daughters, only one with me. Obviously they both needed attention, we thought they were both alive.“We put Victoria in. I turned to get Sarah. There was a few seconds, half a minute, where I was hesitating whether I should go or stay.“The best thing to do was go with Victoria expecting that the other ambulance would follow and Sarah would be along very quickly.”

PA Wire/PA ImagesBarry Devonside’s 18-year-old son Christopher also died in the crush Barry Devonside, whose 18-year-old Christopher died in the crush at the FA Cup semi-final, also gave evidence on Monday and described being “frozen in fear” as he saw the disaster unfold on the terraces from his seat in the North Stand.He told the court he saw a policeman “pounding the chest” of a Liverpool supporter on the pitch and spoke to a man sitting next to him who had a transistor radio.He said: “I just said ‘What the bloody hell’s going on, what are they saying?’ and he said ‘There’s two dead’.“I became literally, from head to foot, frozen in fear for Chris.“I know that sounds selfish because I was thinking about him but I think any parent would have been in the same situation.”He described seeing fans climbing over the gates of the pens and some police officers on the pitch track.He said: “There were only a few police officers there and some of those police officers were endeavouring to help those who were in distress, those who were dying and those who were dead.“I also saw police officers pushing back into pen three of those who were fighting for their life to get out of that pen.”He described seeing a cavalcade of police officers come onto the pitch and form a line across the halfway line.He said: “They did absolutely nothing, stood there doing absolutely nothing to help those who were injured, dying or helping with the removal of those who were killed.”The court heard Devonside later met one of his son’s friends who told him Christopher had died and been taken to the gymnasium.But, a police officer told him his son was not in the gymnasium and Devonside spent five hours looking for Christopher before he went back to the gymnasium and identified him.Duckenfield, 74, denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool fans.Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after the disaster.Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 69, denies breaching a condition of the ground’s safety certificate and failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety Act.The jury was told that Victoria Hicks died in hospital but her body was later taken back to the makeshift mortuary of the gymnasium at Hillsborough.Mr and Mrs Hicks were taken to a screened section of the gymnasium and identified their daughters, who were in body bags on a gurney.Hicks said the family went to the previous year’s FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough, also against Nottingham Forest, but he recalled that, unlike 1989, their tickets were checked by police “at least twice” on their approach to the stadium.He said he and his daughters went down the tunnel to the central pens of the Leppings Lane terraces behind the goal in 1988 but later moved into one of the side pens as it was “too congested” and “uncomfortable”.Hicks recalled that the girls – “being teenagers who didn’t want Dad hanging around” – went down the same tunnel together a year later as he went to buy a match programme.He said: “I remember them glancing back and laughing at me.”The trial continues on Wednesday.

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