Shoreham Airshow inquest - families demand 'fearless' investigation into crash disaster

Families of those who died in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy have demanded a 'fearless' inquest into the disaster.

Monday, 8th April 2019, 4:48 pm
Updated Monday, 8th April 2019, 4:52 pm
Flowers laid as a tribute following the 2015 tragedy. Picture: Sussex Police

Preparations for the inquest relating to the Shoreham Airshow disaster continued today at a hearing before Senior Coroner Penelope Schofield.

The inquest had been on hold until the conclusion of the criminal case against Hawker Hunter pilot Andy Hill.

Last month Hill, 54, of Standon Road, Buntingford, was found not guilty of 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Pilot Andy Hill (right) was flying a Hawker Hunter jet (left) when it crashed, leading to the deaths of 11 people. Pictures: CPS/Getty Images

What was today's pre-inquest review?

Senior coroner Penelope Schofield led a pre-inquest review into the tragedy at Crawley Town Hall today.

Representatives for the families of those who died, as well as organisations like the Civil Aviation Authority, the airshow and Sussex Police were asked to give their views today on issues like the inquest's location, when it should take place and whether it should be a jury inquest.

Mrs Schofield said: "Today we are holding a pre-inquest review hearing touching upon the deaths of those who died at the Shoreham Airshow on the 22 August 2015

"No evidence will be taken today.

"The final inquest which will take place later this year or early next year."

Pilot Andy Hill was not present at today's hearing. Mrs Schofield noted that he had contacted her in advance to say he could not attend.

Where and when will the Shoreham Airshow crash inquest take place?

A venue for the inquest has yet to be chosen.

Mrs Schofield indicated that any building would be needed for several weeks and need to hold up to 150 people.

Gerard Forlin QC - representing many of the families of those who died in the tragedy - called for a venue to be chosen that would assist in a 'fearless' inquest into what happened.

Will there be a jury at the inquest?

Representatives from the various parties at the inquest have until April 23 to write to Mrs Schofield with their views on whether a jury should be used at the inquest.

She indicated that a decision will then be made about a jury within 14 days of that date.

The inquest process continues.