Shoreham Airshow crash trial

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pbeardmore
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by pbeardmore »

Having looked at many forums and news comments, it seems that many people are unable or unwilling to seperate their own emotions to the actual legal case and the decision that was made. It's a reminder of why we have such a huge piece of legal machinery: to ensure that cases are judged on the facts rather than a "hang em high" gang.

If ever any of us were in the same situation (ie accused of a serious crime), we would be very glad to make use of the same legal framework rather than a baying mob (both outside the court and online) looking for their own version of "justice".
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Finningley Boy
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Finningley Boy »

Indeed, pbeadmore,

The anguish of the families is understandable and it was a foregone conclusion that they thought the matter of the day in court a simple formality. What I am given to understand is the charge was one of gross negligence. This would have been very difficult to prove given all the intervening eventualities which could, and by all accounts, did crop up.

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GertrudetheMerciless
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by GertrudetheMerciless »

MingtheMerciless wrote:
boff180 wrote:
The AAIB have put the majority of the blame at his feet in their official report, what the Courts have said (and I can't fathom without reading the reasoning) is that it is was however, not manslaughter or reckless endangerment of an aircraft
(My bold)

From AAIB Bulletin 2/2019 in relation to investigating accidents:

'It is not the purpose of such an investigation to apportion blame or liability. Accordingly, it is inappropriate that AAIB reports should be used to assign fault or blame or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose.'


Well said Ming (no relation within the Merciless family!).

The AAIB deal in facts; determining a sequence of events and the cause(s) and contributory factors in each case they investigate. In no way to they apportion blame.

As for this case, the jury have reached their verdict. My personal opinion is that he has been very lucky, as no one was able to prove his defences sequence of events were incorrect beyond any reasonable doubt. I think any appeal or civil action would probably reach the same verdict; no one can prove cognitive state, his levels of consciousness, or lack or it, throughout the manoeuvre. If he was unconscious, or suffering from some sort of impairment, it would be difficult to be found guilty.

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Seahornet
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Seahornet »

Can I just clarify, for those who don't know, there is no such thing as an 'appeal' against a Not Guilty verdict in English / Welsh criminal law. Except for very specific circumstances relating to Murder cases, the 'double jeopardy' principle ensures that once someone has been found not guilty of a specific charge, they can never be tried again for that charge.

Civil law is a different matter though, so a civil case can't be ruled out. Furthermore, the burden of proof here tends to be based on a balance of probabilities, rather than 'beyond reasonable doubt', so a different outcome could arise from much the same evidence.
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Ouragan
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Ouragan »

With the attention now shifting to the Coroner's Inquest, it will be interesting to see how the cognitive impairment argument impacts on the verdict, and what recommendations may be made as a result. The fear that it could impact on the future of air displays is, in my opinion, entirely warranted. Even Mrs. Ouragan who, at best, is ambivalent about airshows, states that watching an aeroplane just flying straight and level from left to right and back again would not make her want to part with any cash for a ticket. If she is a representative of the general public, it makes you wonder how many others would feel the same way.

I don't mean to be gloomy, but while the result was good news for Mr. Hill, his successful defence may end up being bad news for everybody else in the airshow industry.

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pbeardmore
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by pbeardmore »

I would not want the task of the coroner on this case. Immense ammount of evidence (more than the crim trial) with so many different factors to consider and huge media spotlight. I hope they get someone with great expereince who can "see the wood for the trees" if that makes sense.
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Thoughtful_Flyer
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Thoughtful_Flyer »

Ouragan wrote:With the attention now shifting to the Coroner's Inquest, it will be interesting to see how the cognitive impairment argument impacts on the verdict, and what recommendations may be made as a result. The fear that it could impact on the future of air displays is, in my opinion, entirely warranted. Even Mrs. Ouragan who, at best, is ambivalent about airshows, states that watching an aeroplane just flying straight and level from left to right and back again would not make her want to part with any cash for a ticket. If she is a representative of the general public, it makes you wonder how many others would feel the same way.

I don't mean to be gloomy, but while the result was good news for Mr. Hill, his successful defence may end up being bad news for everybody else in the airshow industry.


I totally agree and would go further and say Mr Hill should never have been put on trial based on the evidence that was presented.

For those that have not seen it, there is an interesting Tweet from Mr Hill's leading defence counsel....

Thank you to all who helped and supported #AndyHill with his defence in the #ShorehamAirCrash. A tragic case for everyone involved but it was my privilege to have represented such a remarkable man. Our thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones.

Karim Khalil QC


Those keyboard warriors seeking to condemn Andy Hill would do well to take Mr Khalil's wise words on board.

Ultimately there is always a risk. Statistically the risk is very small given that this was the first fatal UK airshow accident involving someone other than the aircrew for over sixty years. Ultimately society has to decide if it is prepared to accept that small risk. What makes this particular incident worse is that many of those killed or injured were simply passing by with no interest in the show. To an extent, if you attend a show (or watch from outside) you are choosing to accept some risk but there is no realistic way of limiting the risk to just those attending.

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CJS
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by CJS »

An I missing something here? Why are these 'wise' words particularly?
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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

Key have pulled their thread, apparently due to Hill’s lawyers sniffing around some of the more ribald comments there. Stick to what came out in court if you want to discuss this within the right boundaries. And remember that whatever you think, a jury found him innocent of the charges levelled.

Apologies for the Sun link, but this is quite the appraisal by some of his peers:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8595779/s ... gods-gift/

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Gonzo230
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Gonzo230 »

CJS wrote:An I missing something here? Why are these 'wise' words particularly?


Quite.

He’s saying what he’s paid to say, surely?

Orion
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Orion »

Dan O'Hagan wrote:Key have pulled their thread, apparently due to Hill’s lawyers sniffing around some of the more ribald comments there. Stick to what came out in court if you want to discuss this within the right boundaries. And remember that whatever you think, a jury found him innocent of the charges levelled.

Apologies for the Sun link, but this is quite the appraisal by some of his peers:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8595779/s ... gods-gift/
I think all that has to be done is to repeat and repeat the link to the Sun's article. Says it all.
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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

If he has lawyers going around threatening internet forums, that would be extraordinarily poorly-judged PR and in ghastly taste, given the overriding feeling about the verdict that was returned.

If the papers were to get wind of that, blimey...

frank
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by frank »

Dan O'Hagan wrote:If he has lawyers going around threatening internet forums, that would be extraordinarily poorly-judged PR and in ghastly taste, given the overriding feeling about the verdict that was returned.

If the papers were to get wind of that, blimey...


With your media contacts, surely that would be an easy thing to do.

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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

frank wrote:
Dan O'Hagan wrote:If he has lawyers going around threatening internet forums, that would be extraordinarily poorly-judged PR and in ghastly taste, given the overriding feeling about the verdict that was returned.

If the papers were to get wind of that, blimey...


With your media contacts, surely that would be an easy thing to do.


Why would I want to?

Hill’s been tried. I dare say his life is as close to unbearable as it gets. He’s been shamed in court for his airmanship and shunned by his peers. He will most likely never fly an aeroplane again. I hope he vanishes from view and lives out his life quietly and we never hear his name again.

I just find the thought of anyone leaning on the Key forum to be in very poor taste, given that those affected by Hill’s actions will have hoped for closure at the Old Bailey last week.

Interesting that the deletion of the thread was done above the moderators heads on their forum:

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Brevet Cable »

No different to what's happened on other forums over the years when people post lurid allegations, libellous comments or outright lies, then.
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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

Brevet Cable wrote:No different to what's happened on other forums over the years when people post lurid allegations, libellous comments or outright lies, then.


Admittedly I didn’t see what was said on there over the weekend, but before that there was nothing overly troublesome.

The Miss Demeanour Facebook page is far more, ahem, “colourful” than the Key thread was.

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pbeardmore
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by pbeardmore »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-47541373

Just by way of having a comparison, this tragic case is a recent example of a conviction re gross negligence manslaughter and shows how some cases are relatively simple and some (as with AH) are much more complex. The more complex they are, the easier it is for the defence to put ellements of doubt into the jury's thoughts.

On another note,

"The Miss Demeanour Facebook page is far more, ahem, “colourful” than the Key thread was."

Considering JW was brought in as an expert witness, I was really surprised to see these comments on his page afterwards. Expert witnesses have certain obligations re how they handle cases and it's unusual to say the least to see an expert (after the jury have made their decision) to be so open and vocal re their opinions at this point within the legal process (how will these comments be handled by the inquest for example? It really makes things more complicated). Experts give evidence on cases all over the UK but it's exceptional in my experience to see follow up comments like this. I'm struggling to think of another example actually.
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T_J
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by T_J »

pbeardmore wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-47541373

Just by way of having a comparison, this tragic case is a recent example of a conviction re gross negligence manslaughter and shows how some cases are relatively simple and some (as with AH) are much more complex. The more complex they are, the easier it is for the defence to put ellements of doubt into the jury's thoughts.

On another note,

"The Miss Demeanour Facebook page is far more, ahem, “colourful” than the Key thread was."

Considering JW was brought in as an expert witness, I was really surprised to see these comments on his page afterwards. Expert witnesses have certain obligations re how they handle cases and it's unusual to say the least to see an expert (after the jury have made their decision) to be so open and vocal re their opinions at this point within the legal process (how will these comments be handled by the inquest for example? It really makes things more complicated). Experts give evidence on cases all over the UK but it's exceptional in my experience to see follow up comments like this. I'm struggling to think of another example actually.


Interesting posts on PPRuNe. Apparently at least two expert witnesses got "trashed" in court.

One of AH's defence barristers also posts.

https://www.pprune.org/10425963-post265.html

https://www.pprune.org/military-aviatio ... st10427066

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by Brevet Cable »

A bit of a thread resurrection, but the latest AAIB Report has now been published : https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5df89b7ded915d0931d74770/Hawker_Hunter_T7_G-BXFI_Supplement_02-20.pdf
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rollason beta
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Re: Shoreham Airshow crash trial

Post by rollason beta »

Surely this latest AAIB report is pretty significant. Basically dismissing the basis of the defence case of 'g induced impairment'. As mentioned before, if there was any weight at all in what was suggested then military flight training world wide needs changing and its the end of display flying as we know it.

Civil prosecution likely, maybe?