Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Plane crash victim's family blast justice system
THE family of a plane crash victim have hit out at the justice system, labelling the outcome of the inquest into his death 'absolute nonsense'.
Five people including James Beagley, who lived in Marlow, lost their lives in August 2008, when two planes collided near Coventry Airport. The inquest ended last week and the pilot's mum, dad, and brother felt as if they had not made any progress in four years of the legal process.
They questioned the point of the hearing when it was unable to apportion blame or bring anyone to account for errors made.
The Crown Prosecution Service concluded it would not bring any charges for gross negligence manslaughter or corporate manslaughter because it found insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of prosecution.
James's father Alan Beagley, of Stratchona Close, Flackwell Heath, has pursued the legal case exhaustively since the crash.
The retired helicopter pilot said he had been infuriated with the system.
He said: "Frustration is the right word. We haven't been given any answers, the Air Accident Investigation Branch submitted a 54 page report in which the summary was that the collision took place because the two pilots didn't see one another.
"My grandson could have come to that conclusion. It's taken four years to come back to the same conclusion as the AAIB report, it's absolute nonsense.
"My honest response to the verdict is huge disappointment only tempered by the fact that ten days ago before the inquest started it was explained to us that once again we are in this position where they are not going to apportion blame and I struggle with that.
"It's disappointing personally because of our loss and the loss of the other families but also it is disappointing that the system does not have a structure whereby they can correct such inadequacies."
Under the rules of a coroner’s inquest, unlike a criminal court case, it can not apportion blame or liability and there are no prosecutions.
But Mr Bealey said he found it 'unacceptable' that the jury's verdict was not allowed to name any individual or company even though the people involved had all been named and spoken as witnesses during the inquest.
The verdict did, however, identify mistakes by air traffic control as significant factors in the crash.
James's mother Liz Hopkins, from Milton Keynes, said: "I find it very difficult to move on because I don't think we've achieved anything at all, I can't draw a line under it because it's too up in the air."
James's brother Neal Beagley, from Marlow, said: "It's the fact that nobody, no matter who it is, nobody wants to apportion blame. I know it's a coroners court but everyone is avoiding not allowed to point any blame when clearly a lot of mistakes have been made."