The High Court has refused an application by the Senior Coroner for West Sussex to allow her to have protected material.
The Senior Coroner is undertaking inquests into the death of 11 men who died at the Shoreham Airshow in 2016 when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed onto a dual carriageway during the display. The pilot, who survived, was subsequently prosecuted for, and acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter.
The Senior Coroner had sought disclosure of protected material including cockpit flight video, taken from a GoPro camera installed by the pilot, and expert reports from the pilot’s criminal trial. The High Court, (the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Mr Justice Saini) dismissed the Coroner’s application.
The Court ruled that there was no public interest in the Coroner reinvestigating matters already considered by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), and that there was no credible evidence that the AAIB’s investigation had been incomplete, flawed or deficient.
A date will now be set for the inquests to resume.
David Manknell acted for the AAIB (with Jason Beer QC), and Martin Downs acted for the Chief Constable of Sussex Police.
The case has been widely publicised: