Shoreham Airshow trial: police detective describes 'complex and unique investigation'

Floral tributes laid at Old Toll Bridge in Shoreham following the tragedy
Floral tributes laid at Old Toll Bridge in Shoreham following the tragedy

The chief detective in the investigation into the Shoreham Airshow tragedy said police 'respect the decision' of the jury.

After an eight week trial, jurors found Andy Hill not guilty of 11 charges of manslaughter by gross negligence this morning.

Andy Hill was cleared of all charges. Picture: Getty Images

Andy Hill was cleared of all charges. Picture: Getty Images

Hill, 54, of Standon Road, Buntingford, had been flying a Hawker Hunter jet in 2015 when it crashed onto the A27 and led to the deaths of 11 people.

'Long, complex and unique investigation'

Speaking outside the Old Bailey in London today, senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Jon Fanner said: "It has been a long, complex and unique investigation and I am aware that it has touched the lives, both personally and professionally, of hundreds of us in Sussex Police and indeed, our colleagues in Surrey.

"Throughout the last three-and-a-half years we have sought to find answers for the families and friends of those who died and I hope that this trial has gone some way towards doing that.

"The jury sat for nearly two months, considered the vast amount of evidence that was presented to them and heard of Mr Hill’s many years of experience as a pilot."

'We respect their decision'

He added: "It was clearly appropriate to bring these charges and for Mr Hill to stand trial. Their view is that he is not guilty of the charges that we brought against him and we respect their decision.

"The Shoreham air crash will live in the hearts and minds of many, many people for years to come, not least those who lost their loved ones.

"I pay tribute to the families of the victims, many of whom sat through every single minute of every single day of this trial and did so with complete dignity and support for each other, for our investigation and for us. The humility they have shown has been truly inspiring."