Shoreham air crash pilot Andrew Hill has been found not guilty of manslaughter
The pilot whose plane crashed during the Shoreham Airshow, killing 11 men, has been cleared of manslaughter.
Andrew Hill had been attempting a loop when his Hawker Hunter jet exploded into a fireball on the A27.
Survivors ran for their lives and suffered terrible burns when they were caught in the blast on August 22, 2015.
Mr Hill miraculously survived after being thrown clear from the burning wreckage into brambles.
He was flown to hospital with life-threatening injured and placed in an induced coma before being discharged a month later.
The prosecution said the former RAF and British Airways pilot had been flying too low and slow as he attempted the disastrous stunt.
Tom Kark QC alleged he had at times a ‘cavalier’ attitude to safety and a history of taking risks, having played ‘fast and loose’ with the rules in the past.
But Mr Hill claimed he blacked out in the air, having experienced ‘cognitive impairment’ brought on by hypoxia possibly due to the effects of G-force.
The 54-year-old, of Sandon, Buntingford, Hertfordshire, denied 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
The victims were Maurice Abrahams, 76; Dylan Archer, 42; Tony Brightwell, 53; Matthew Grimstone, 23; Matt Jones, 24; Graham Mallinson, 72; Daniele Polito, 23; Mark Reeves, 53; Jacob Schilt, 23; Richard Smith, 26; and Mark Trussler, 54, who all lived in Sussex.
The plane came down on the A27 after attempting a loop near the south coast town
Who were the 11 victims of the 2015 Shoreham air disaster?
Maurice Abrahams, 76:
Chauffeur Mr Abrahams, from Brighton, was en route in his classic Daimler to collect bride Rebecca Sheen and take her to her wedding when the plane crashed.
A former police officer with Hampshire Constabulary, he was an ex-member of the Grenadier Guards and Parachute Regiment, and had served in Cyprus and Bahrain with the UN.
In his later years, he enjoyed working for East Sussex-based Chariots Chauffeurs as well as gardening.
His funeral was held at St Margaret’s Church in Rottingdean, where he had driven brides to their weddings countless times.
Married to Edwina, Mr Abrahams had a son, Eddie, and daughter Lizzie.
James Graham Mallinson, known as Graham, 72:
Retired engineer Mr Mallinson, from Newick, near Lewes, had gone to Shoreham to photograph one of the last Vulcan bomber flights.
Relatives said he was kind and generous with a ‘great sense of humour’.
He was a private and loving family man, they added.
A lifetime member of the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, married father Mr Mallinson had recently developed an interest in photographing vintage aircraft.
Former police officer Maurice Abrahams was a chauffeur who was killed while on his way to a job (left). Retired engineer Mr Mallinson, from Newick, near Lewes, had gone to Shoreham to photograph one of the last Vulcan bomber flights
Father-of-six Mr Trussler, a window cleaner from Worthing, had taken his motorbike for a spin on the day of the tragedy
Mark Trussler, 54:
Father-of-six Mr Trussler, a window cleaner from Worthing, had taken his motorbike for a spin on the day of the tragedy as he had also wanted to see the Vulcan flight.
While in Shoreham, he texted his fiancee Giovanna Chirico telling her to get the children ready so they could take them out for lunch on his return home.
She told him she loved him and his last words to her were, ‘I love you too, forever’.
A motorbike and rugby fan, he was also described as a doting father.
Tony Brightwell, 53:
Health care manager Mr Brightwell, from Hove, was indulging his twin passions of planes and cycling when tragedy struck.
His fiancee Lara watched him cycle off to watch one of the last Vulcan bomber flights, ‘but he never came home’, she said.
Mr Brightwell gained his private pilot licence at Shoreham, loved food and cooking, and admired Second World War pilots.
Dylan Archer, 42, and Richard Smith, 26:
IT consultant Mr Archer, a father of two who lived in Brighton, and Mr Smith, who lived in Hove, were due to meet up with a third friend to head out for a cycle ride in the South Downs.
Mr Archer, who grew up in the Midlands, had a lifelong passion for bikes and cars, and rode the bike he made himself on the day he died.
Dylan Archer and Richard Smith were due to meet up with a third friend to go on a cycle ride when they were killed in the Shoreham tragedy
After going to university in Birmingham, Buckinghamshire-raised Mr Smith worked in a bicycle shop in Cosham, Portsmouth.
He later moved to Hove where he worked in marketing and web development at ActSmart, a firm that specialises in providing advice to the cycle industry.
Mark Reeves, 53:
Computer-aided design technician Mr Reeves, from Seaford, near Eastbourne, had parked his motorbike to take photographs of planes when the crash happened.
A grandfather, relatives described him as a ‘sun worshipper’ who would often be seen relaxing with a cocktail in hand on holiday.
His family said he was combining two favourite hobbies of riding his cherished Honda bike to take photographs at the air show.
Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23:
The two Worthing United footballers were travelling together in a car to a 3pm home game against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the crash.
Mr Grimstone’s parents Sue and Phil and brothers David and Paul called him the ‘kindest person you could ever meet’.
Team-mates said Mr Schilt was a ‘tenacious midfielder’ with an eye for a goal.
Mr Grimstone had also worked at Brighton & Hove Albion for seven years, most recently as a groundsman at the Lancing training ground.
Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, were travelling to Worthing United to play in a home game against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the crash
Matt Jones, 24, and Daniele Polito, 23:
Father Daniele Polito, from Worthing, was travelling in the same car as personal trainer Matt Jones when tragedy struck.
Mr Polito’s mother Leslye Polito said on the first anniversary of the disaster that the previous 12 months had failed to ease her loss.
A keen DJ, Mr Jones had reportedly recently returned to the UK from living in Australia.
Matt Jones and Daniele Polito both died in the same car