Shoreham air crash inquests postponed until next year

Posted On 16 May 2020 at 9:19 am

Inquests into the deaths of the 11 men who died in the Shoreham air show crash in August 2015 will not take place until next year.

The latest postponement is intended to ensure that the families of the 11 men can attend the hearings in person.

The full inquest was due to go ahead this autumn.

But because of the response to the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, it has been agreed with the families of the victims that the inquests could not take place safely in open court this September as originally planned.

A future date, likely to be in June or September next year, will be confirmed as soon as possible.

West Sussex senior coroner Penelope Schofield said: “I have expressed my extreme regret to all the families that there is to be a further delay to proceedings but I will not be able to hear these inquests, as planned, later this year.

“With 11 bereaved families and several other interested parties, lawyers, press and public, it seems likely that well over 150 people would wish to attend court and I anticipate the threat of covid-19, the potential for its transmission and the consequent disruption of in-person proceedings will not have receded by the autumn.

“My present view is that these inquests are not ones that are appropriate to be held remotely given the importance to the families of being fully involved in the hearings, the benefits of hearing the first-hand evidence in person and the overall public interest.”

A pre-inquest review hearing is still due to take place on Wednesday 24 June.

The coroner said that this would be conducted as a remote hearing.

The men died on Saturday 22 August 2015 during the Shoreham air show.

A Hawker Hunter jet aircraft flown by Andrew Hill, known as Andy Hill, crashed on to the A27 just north of Shoreham Airport.

The 11 men who died were

  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, of Brighton
  • Dylan Archer, 42, of Brighton
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, of Hove
  • Matt Grimstone, 23, of Brighton
  • Matt Jones, 24, of Littlehampton
  • Graham Mallinson, 72, of Newick
  • Daniele Polito, 23, of Goring
  • Mark Reeves, 53, of Seaford
  • Jacob Schilt, 23, of Brighton
  • Richard Smith, 26, of Hove
  • Mark Trussler, 54, of Worthing

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