Farage crash pilot 'made threats to seek help'

  • Published

The pilot of a plane which crashed and injured UKIP leader Nigel Farage during an election day stunt told a court he made threats as a means "to seek help".

Justin Adams is charged with five counts of making threats to kill relating to Mr Farage and a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigator.

Mr Adams told the jury in the months after the crash his mental health had been "rapidly spiralling downhill".

The 45-year-old, of Faringdon, Oxfordshire, denies all the charges.

Both Mr Adams and Mr Farage were taken to hospital following the crash on 6 May - the 2010 general election day - after the light aircraft nose-dived to the ground while towing a campaign banner.

During his defence at Oxford Crown Court, Mr Adams said he felt he was not receiving the help he needed after the crash 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."

'Classic British understatements'

Mr Adams said following the crash he was legally not able to fly and was having to sub-contract any offers of work.

He told the court his marriage broke down and he went to live with his mother.

Mr Adams said he was contacted by CAA investigator Martin James two months after the incident requesting various documents, and had phoned Mr James himself in November to be told there was no evidence of wrongdoing and no action would be taken.

Asked how he felt by his counsel Alistair Grainger, he replied: "I felt fed up, let down, frustrated, disappointed, all of which are classic British understatements."

Earlier, the jury heard Mr Adams had threatened to kill Mr James who he blamed for him having lost his licence.

The court was played a recording of an exchange between a man calling himself Justin Adams and a police inquiry centre officer at Thames Valley Police.

During the conversation, on the evening of 28 November last year, the caller was heard to say: "I know where they live, they destroyed my life.

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

The trial continues.

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