Police cannot see pilot’s statements on Shoreham Airshow crash, High Court rules

One of the tributes left in memory of the airshow tragedy's victims last year
One of the tributes left in memory of the airshow tragedy's victims last year
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The High Court has rejected Sussex Police’s request to see statements made by pilot Andrew Hill on the Airshow crash.

The Court has handed down its judgment on Sussex Police’s applications for the disclosure of records relating to the crash, which are given a protected status in law.

It has refused the disclosure of statements made by pilot Andrew Hill to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in response to discussion or interviews.

An application for the release of material produced by various other people subsequently, such as experiments conducted and tests done on various aspects of the accident, has also been refused.

However, the Court has ruled that film footage of the flight, made by cameras installed on the aeroplane, can be released.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Rymarz said: “We are pleased that the High Court has granted us access to some of the material that we were seeking and this will enable us to move forward with our investigation.

“We understand that legally this case is without precedent in England and Wales and we accept the reasons why our request has not been granted in full.

“As we have said before, this is an extraordinarily complex investigation, but we remain committed to finding answers for the families and friends of those who died.”

The Court ruled on the case between the Chief Constable of Sussex Police and the Secretary of State for Transport today.

The Secretary of State had not resisted the application, since he considered it to be a matter for the Court to decide whether disclosure should be made in cases such as these, police said.

A spokesperson for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said: “The AAIB is not able to release protected air accident investigation records of its own accord.

“Only the High Court can allow for their release.

“We note today’s judgment and will now release the film footage to the Chief Constable of Sussex Police.”

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