Shoreham air crash coroner tells victims' families: 'I will conduct a full and fearless inquiry'
Published 02/09/2015 | 13:23
The family of the last victim of the Shoreham air disaster to be named have said he was in the "right place at the wrong time".
Relatives of retired engineer James Graham Mallinson, 72, spoke as a coroner vowed to conduct "a full and fearless" inquiry into the crash during the Shoreham Airshow on August 22.
West Sussex senior coroner Penelope Schofield opened and adjourned the inquest into the 11 deaths at a hearing in Horsham.
As it started, the family of Mr Mallinson, known as Graham and from Newick, near Lewes, said he went to Shoreham to photograph one of the last Vulcan bomber flights.
In a statement, they said: "He was the kindest and most generous man who regularly gave his time to help others.
"Always loyal and reliable, he was a private and loving family man with a great sense of humour.
"A very caring husband and father who was dearly loved, he will be very sorely missed by all his family and the wide circle of friends who had the good fortune to know him."
A lifetime member of the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, Mr Mallinson had recently developed an interest in photographing vintage aircraft.
His relatives said: "He was at the right place at the wrong time, doing what he loved best on a beautiful summer's day."
All the victims' identities were officially confirmed before a minute's silence was held during the half-hour hearing.
Some families of those who died attended the opening of the inquiry while others chose to be represented by their police family liaison officer.
As inquiries continue by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Sussex Police, Ms Schofield adjourned the case for a pre-inquest review to be held on March 22.
The coroner said: "I will conduct a full and fearless inquiry as the law requires, but as you can imagine this will take time for the various agencies to report to me."
The full inquest was provisionally set for next June - before the first anniversary of the disaster, Ms Schofield added.
After the names were read out, she said: "This was the single largest loss of life on my jurisdiction since I took up office in 2008."
It happened during the Shoreham Airshow when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop stunt and crashed on to the A27.
As well as Mr Mallinson, the 10 other victims were named as: window cleaner and general builder Mark Trussler, 54, from Worthing; cycling friends Dylan Archer, 42, from Brighton, and Richard Smith, 26, from Hove; NHS manager Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove; grandfather Mark Reeves, 53, from Seaford; Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23; personal trainer Matt Jones, 24; wedding chauffeur Maurice Abrahams, 76; and Daniele Polito, 23, from Worthing.
At the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Carwyn Hughes, the senior identification manager at Sussex Police, read out a summary of the circumstances and cause of death of each victim.
The jet's pilot, Andrew Hill, was left fighting for his life, and has been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment.
The plane wreckage has been sent to Farnborough, Hampshire, where AAIB investigators are seeking to find out what caused the crash. An interim report is due in days.
The A27 near Shoreham partially reopened at the weekend as thousands of people gathered at memorial events a week after the crash.
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