Jury retires over Nigel Farage crash pilot case

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A jury in the case of a pilot accused of threatening to kill UKIP leader Nigel Farage following a plane crash has retired to consider its verdict.

Justin Adams is charged with making threats relating to Mr Farage and crash investigator Martin James.

Oxford Crown Court heard a telephone call between a police handler and a man calling himself Justin Adams who claimed to have a 9mm pistol.

Mr Adams, 46, of Faringdon, Oxfordshire, denies the five charges.

Both Mr Farage and Mr Adams were injured in the light aircraft crash on 6 May, the day of the 2010 general election, after it nose-dived to the ground while towing a campaign banner in Northamptonshire.

'Rapidly spiralling downhill'

The court heard Mr Adams said he had received media offers to talk about the crash, but it had been suggested to him by Mr Farage that he should not speak until after the conclusion of the investigation in his favour.

He claimed friends later informed him Mr Farage was "generating PR as a result of the crash".

The court heard threats were intended to make those receiving them fear they would be carried out.

Within the conversation between the police call handler and the man calling himself Justin Adams in November last year, he was heard to say: "I know where they live, they destroyed my life."

He later added: "I now have a 9mm pistol, I've got the means - I will take them out and then myself."

Mr Adams told the operator he had lost his livelihood, house, wife and child in the wake of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigation, the court heard.

"You need to understand all charges were dropped against me after six or seven months of investigations," he said.

"In the intervening period everything else fell apart."

Giving evidence in his defence, Mr Adams told the jury that after the crash his mental health had been "rapidly spiralling downhill", as his business and personal relationship deteriorated.

He said he felt he was not receiving the help he needed and made the threats "in the belief and hope I would get put inside".

"I could see no other way," he said.

"I made a decision to make these threats purely to get assistance."

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