DR. JAMES BURNS.
After all the confusion over the medical evidence at Kevin’s inquest I needed to know what Kevin had died from. Dr James Burns Forensic Pathologist based at the Royal Hospital in Liverpool agreed to see me and go over the autopsy report with me. I needed to know – there were just so many unanswered questions, it was making me ill… the not knowing is worse than the truth. Dr Burns spent 4 hours with me going over the autopsy and the evidence which I had gathered from Special WPC. Martin and PC. Bruder.
Kevin had fractures in his neck, Kevin had probably fallen down and been trodden on. Dr Burns showed me a skeletal model of a neck and showed me where the fractures were – in his opinion this injury would not have stopped Kevin speaking the word Mum when he was with Special WPC. Martin in the gym. He explained that if you break your wrist then it will swell, this is what had happened to Kevin, the swelling of the fractures would have slowly closed his airway off and would have taken three-quarters of an hour to happen. This fits in with Special WPC.Martins first statement – the sad thing is Kevin could have been saved if he had received medical help. Dr Burns wrote a report for me, he does not agree with Dr Slater on numerous points, he also wrote in his report;
“It strikes me that Special WPC. Martin has been the victim of unjustifiable adverse criticism amounting almost to ridicule. I am amazed that the evidence of Miss Martin, a dental nurse, by training, and a special police constable of five years standing, is treated with such incredulity, amounting almost to hostility. I see no reason to doubt the evidence of Miss Martin when she states that she picked Kevin up in her arms, that Kevin opened his eyes, moved his mouth and said “Mom” flicked his eyelashes, closed his eyes and died.”
Dr Burns was so kind, he explained everything to me, he gave his time freely, I said goodbye to him and thanked him and he said to me “You know where I am if needed.”
DR. IAIN WEST.
Dr Iain West Consultant Forensic Pathologist at London’s Guys Hospital, contested Dr Slater’s inquest finding. Dr West was very generous with his time and he explained everything to me, he also did not agree with Dr Slater on numerous points. Dr West had sent for Kevin’s autopsy photo’s;
“They do not indicate the classic signs of Traumatic Asphyxia, the most prominent finding on the photographs are the injuries over the under-surface of the chin and the left jawline, the deformity found in the photographs strongly suggest that there has been damage to Kevin’s neck being crushed under the feet of individuals in the crowd or caused by his neck being crushed against some rigid object.
I do not believe this type of injury would lead to unconsciousness within a few seconds. This type of injury is amendable to treatment in the form of an emergency tracheostomy or a crico-thyroidotomy is a simple procedure which involves the passage of a tube through the membrane between the thyroid and cricoid cartilages. It is possible that if one of these procedures had been carried out at the scene then he would not have suffered from the fatal asphyxia which led to his death. The form of traumatic asphyxia arises in the circumstances of the Hillsborough disaster results not only from impairment of respiration but also, and more importantly, from physical interference with the return of blood from the upper part of the body to the heart. This mechanism leads to quite unmistakable pathological findings which differ from those seen in Kevin Williams body.”
I have made numerous trips to London’s Guys Hospital to discuss Kevin’s injuries with Dr. West and have Kevin’s autopsy report and inquest transcripts about the medical condition of Kevin explained to me. Dr. West had told me that if Kevin had looked the way Dr. Slater had said at his inquest I would not have recognised my son.