Sussex

Family's anger over Shoreham air show deaths

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Media captionLesley Polito describes her "fun-loving" son Daniele

A mother whose son was killed in the Shoreham air show disaster has said her family's "sorrow is turning to anger".

Daniele Polito, 23, was in a car on the A27 when a vintage jet crashed and exploded during a display last August.

His mother Leslye said the family initially felt sorry for pilot Andy Hill, but revelations about his involvement in an earlier air show scare had made them feel "more angry".

Mr Hill, 52, is the subject of a manslaughter investigation.

His Hawker Hunter crashed into four pieces, killing eleven people.

It later emerged Mr Hill was involved in another less serious flying occurrence at the Southport Airshow in 2014 when his Jet Provost T5 was seen too close to crowds and below the height set for the event.

The British Air Display Association said it was not serious and Mr Hill was always in control of the aircraft.

Nevertheless, Mrs Polito said hearing about what happened at other air shows made the family "feel more angry".

"If he (Mr Hill) is at fault in any way whatsoever - if he made an error of judgment, showing off or anything, then I want it to be a strong case brought against him.

"If he is found guilty then he has to pay."

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Daniele Polito was travelling in the same car as another victim, Matt Jones, when he died

Mr Hill, a former RAF pilot from Sandon, near Buntingford in Hertfordshire, was in hospital for several weeks after the Shoreham crash.

Sussex Police went to the High Court in July to ask for access to Air Accidents Investigation Branch material relating to the crash.

It emerged in papers filed to the court that Mr Hill was interviewed under caution in December but not arrested.

Mrs Polito said the family is dreading the first anniversary of the Shoreham air crash, on 22 August.

They will attend a church service on Saturday and a minute's silence on Monday in memory of the Daniele and the other victims.

"We don't want to mourn him, we want to celebrate him," she said.


The Victims

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption (Top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith. (Bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer, Graham Mallinson
  • Matt Jones, 24 - a personal trainer
  • Daniele Polito, 23 - he was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23 - a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, 23 - a Worthing United player travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76 - a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42 - friends who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53 - he had taken his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, - an aircraft enthusiast who had learned to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54 - thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Graham Mallinson, 72 - a keen photographer and retired engineer

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Thr Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 during the airshow in August 2015

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