Scotland

Parents of Nimrod crash victim awarded £200,000

Oliver Dicketts
Image caption Oliver Dicketts was killed along with 13 others in the crash

A jury has awarded £200,000 in compensation to a couple whose son died after a Nimrod plane exploded over Afghanistan.

Robert and Priscilla Dicketts from Kent were given the sum at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Their son Oliver was killed along with 13 other service personnel on board the aircraft which was on operations near Kandahar on 2 September in 2006.

Liability in the action was admitted by the Ministry of Defence.

It was the role of the jury to decide the level of compensation.

Mr and Mrs Dicketts were each awarded £100,000, which is the maximum available.

Following the case, Corporal Dicketts' father said: "We would like to thank the jury very much for what we consider the value they put on our son.

"They obviously put the maximum they could and that is a great comfort to both of us. No amount of money, obviously, can bring him back."

Cpl Dicketts, who was serving with the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, was one of two non-RAF personnel on board the Nimrod, based at RAF Kinloss, when fire broke out after the aircraft carried out inflight refuelling.

Jurors thanked

The crew turned the plane towards Kandahar and began a descent towards the airfield but the aircraft exploded and broke up in midair and crashed into the desert. A subsequent inquest and inquiry were critical of the state of safety.

Mr Dicketts, from Horsmonden, in Kent, gave evidence in court wearing the tie of his only child's regiment and said: "I wear it very proudly."

He said they had felt "very strongly let down" by the state of equipment as he learned more about the Nimrod aircraft following the tragedy.

Mr Dicketts added: "You expect the equipment they are given to be useable and correct."

At the end of the two-day case the judge, Lady Dorrian, thanked the jurors.

In another case last month a jury at the Court of Session awarded £90,000 to the mother and £60,000 to the sister of another serviceman, 22-year-old Royal Marine Joe Windall, who died after the explosion on Nimrod XV230.

Other cases are believed to have settled out of court, but at least one more is due to be heard next year.

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