‘Full and fearless investigation’ promised as Shoreham Airshow crash inquest opens

West Sussex’s senior coroner has promised to conduct a ‘full and fearless investigation’ into the deaths of the people who died in the Shoreham Airshow crash.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 11:32 am
Thousands of people flock to Shoreham Tollbridge to take part in a candlelit vigil remembering those who lost their lives in the airshow crash SUS-150831-105721001

The inquest into the deaths of the 11 men was opened and adjourned in Horsham this morning (Wednesday September 2).

During the inquest, James Mallinson, known by his middle name Graham, was the final victim to be identified.

Mr Mallinson, 72, was a retired engineer from Newick, East Sussex.

Parkside Chart Way Horsham - Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council SUS-150723-162029001

Construction worker Daniele Polito, 23, of Goring, who was believed to have died in the disaster, was also confirmed as one of the deceased.

The other nine men who died were Matt Jones, 24, from Littlehampton; Worthing United players Jacob Schilt and Matt Grimstone, both 23; Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton; Mark Trussler, 54, from Worthing; Mark Reeves, 53, from Seaford; Dylan Archer, 42, from Brighton; Richard Smith, 26, from Hove; and Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove.

West Sussex senior coroner Penelope Schofield opened the inquest held at Parkside, Horsham, at 10.30am and said: “This is the single largest loss of life in my jurisdiction since I took up office in 2008.”

She then asked all in attendance to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the 11 victims.

Ms Schofield adjourned proceedings until March 22 2016. She said this was necessary to enable Sussex Police and the Air Accident Investigation Branch to complete their investigations.

She said she hoped to conduct the inquest in June of next year.

She added: “I ask that all agencies involved in this investigation do everything they can so the inquest can take place before the anniversary of this tragic event.

“Members of the families - I understand you need answers.

“Many people have been affected and my thoughts are primarily with the families, but I also acknowledge the pain felt by friends of the deceased and members of the community at this time.”

She also promised the families of the deceased that she would conduct a ‘full and fearless investigation’.

During the hearing, detective chief inspector Carwyn Hughes, Sussex Police’s senior identification manager, explained the circumstances of each of the men’s deaths.

DCI Hughes added that Sussex Police received more than 250 reports from concerned people that a relative or friend may have been involved in the crash.

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