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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

Old 5th Mar 2010, 08:26
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So is the CAA prosecuting the hunt followers for endangering an aircraft ,trespassing on the airfield or something else under the ANO ?
I'm not sure that standing in front of an aircraft is actually endangering it. Also nothing in the ANO about trespassing. There might be something about interfering with an aircraft's progress though.
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 22:24
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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Latest BBC report

BBC News - Warwickshire gyrocopter pilot 'feared hunt attack'


Gyrocopter pilot 'feared attack'

An animal rights supporter accused of killing a hunt supporter in a gyrocopter thought he had been shot at and could be attacked, a court heard.
Bryan Griffiths, 55, of Wiltshire Close, Bedworth, Warwickshire, denies the manslaughter by gross negligence of Trevor Morse in March last year.
He died instantly when he was struck by the high-speed propeller at an airfield as he tried to stop it taking off.
The court heard Mr Griffiths stopped to refuel when the stand-off occurred.

He said that he believed that he had been shot at three times while he was flying the autogyro
Michael Tipping, aviation enthusiast

He had been monitoring the Warwickshire Hunt, of which Mr Morse was a committee member, from the air.
Birmingham Crown Court has heard hunt master Anthony Spencer and Mr Morse had a plan to stop the gyrocopter from taking off when it landed to refuel so they could confront the pilot.
Before Mr Morse arrived in his vehicle, with the intention of parking in front of the gyrocopter, Mr Griffiths had been speaking to "aviation fanatic" Michael Tipping, the court was told.
Mr Tipping said Mr Morse was "intrusive and aggressive" when he got out of his vehicle and started taking photographs.
'Beat me up'
"When I spoke to him asking what he took pictures of my car for, my mind said to me, 'you don't want to mess with this man'," he said.
Mr Tipping said Mr Griffiths had asked him to stay at the airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, as he felt trouble was imminent.
"I thought: 'Oh crikey, don't say this is blinking drugs'," Mr Tipping said in a statement read to the court.
"He (Griffiths) said I think he (Mr Morse) is trying to hold me up you know, because I think there's a gang coming for me to beat me up.
"He said that he believed that he had been shot at three times while he was flying the autogyro." The trial continues
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Old 12th Mar 2010, 17:52
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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Latest news

From the BBC ;


Gyrocopter pilot 'feared danger'

An animal rights supporter accused of killing a hunt supporter in a gyrocopter felt "there was imminent danger" to himself, a court heard.
Bryan Griffiths, 55, from Bedworth, Warwickshire, said Trevor Morse was speaking on a mobile and he feared severe injury "if others turned up".
Mr Griffiths, of Wiltshire Close, denies the manslaughter by gross negligence of Mr Morse in March 2009.
He had been monitoring the Warwickshire Hunt, of which Mr Morse was a member.
Mr Morse died at Long Marston Airfield, Stratford-upon-Avon.
'Extremely agitated'
Mr Griffiths told Birmingham Crown Court that Mr Morse was in a Land Rover which Mr Morse moved to partly block the gyrocopter.
He said that he "politely asked" Mr Morse to move out of the way.
Asked what Mr Morse's response was, Mr Griffiths said Mr Morse replied "'you are going nowhere'".
Mr Griffiths said: "I was extremely agitated. I wanted to get away as quickly as possible, because I felt there was imminent danger to myself, my passenger and my aircraft.
"I desperately felt that we had to get away from there and this man [Trevor Morse] was clearly trying to stop us.
"I had no doubt in my mind that if others turned up, we would suffer severe injury."
Mr Morse was a committee member with the Warwickshire Hunt. The case continues.

Story from BBC NEWS:
BBC News - Warwickshire gyrocopter pilot 'feared danger'

Published: 2010/03/11 17:23:48 GMT

© BBC MMX
_____________________________________________________

From the Coventry Evening Telegraph ;

Pilot tells trial of his fear of attack by hunt supporter at Long Marston airfield

A GYROCOPTER pilot has told a jury how he feared for his safety during a confrontation with a hunt supporter at an airfield near Stratford.
Bryan Griffiths, 55, told Birmingham Crown Court he thought he would be attacked if he had not got away. He said he was ‘very frightened’’.
Warwickshire Hunt member Trevor Morse, 48, died on March 9 last year at Long Marston airfield when he was hit by gyrocopter’s propeller blades as Griffiths was trying to take off.
</SPAN>Griffiths, of Wiltshire Close, Bedworth, denies manslaughter by gross negligence.
He said he knew some hunt supporters were “absolutely livid” that he was helping to monitor the hunt and that he felt he would be targeted after discovering photographs of his gyrocopter posted on pro-hunt websites.
He said: “It certainly made me realise that if ever I was in a position that they had me or my aircraft things were not going to be good.’’
Mr Morse had been following the last day of the Warwickshire hunt season when he spotted Griffiths’ gyrocopter head off to refuel.
Mr Morse and a passenger raced to the airfield to confront Griffiths as part of a plan to try to detain the pilot and confront him.
But after a tense stand-off he was struck by the propellor blade of Griffiths’ gyrocopter which was rotating at 200mph.
The impact killed Mr Morse instantly.
A video of the incident, shot by animal rights protester Peter Bunce, was shown to jurors at the start of the case.
Griffiths had been using his gyrocopter to allow anti-hunt protestors to allow a passenger to film what was going on below.
While not a member of anti-hunt group he was not paid for the service and funded the fuel costs himself.
Before he landed to refuel, Griffiths told the court that he thought that hunt supporters had taken four shots at his aircraft.
He said: “I saw a puff of light grey smoke coming up from the ground. My first thought was that it was a shotgun. It made me feel nervous.”
Describing the moments after he landed and was confronted by Mr Morse, Griffiths added: “My first reaction was that he has found me. He knows where I am and now he’s telephoning for other people.”
“He was walking up and down on his mobile phone. He was a big man. I felt very frightened.”
“I thought he was bringing other people to the airfield. My anxiety at that point was through the roof.
“My primary concern was to get myself and the aircraft out of there as quickly as possible.”
.......................................

The case continues.
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 12:32
  #224 (permalink)  
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" I saw a puff of white smoke " Who does he think he is kidding ? Does he think they were shooting at him with black powder ? At 500ft or even 400ft the pellets wouldnt even reach you .
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 18:23
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Smoke screens more like!
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 16:44
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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Cleared!

BBC News - Gyrocopter pilot cleared over huntsman death
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 17:44
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Excellent....will the CAA now prosecute the other hunt objectors with endangering an aircraft or trespass on an active airfield ??????
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 17:55
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I'm glad to see he was found not guilty.

I can't imagine that the CAA would see it as in the public interest to pursue it much further: even if there were technical breaches of aviation law in any part of the situation by the pilot (and I have no idea if there were or there weren't) it would be somewhat vindictive to pursue them.

As for prosecuting the hunt supporters, again, there's not a lot to be gained when they've lost a friend. Hopefully the lesson is learned: if you stand that close to a propellor moving at 200mph, it's a very risky place to be.

Will the insurers feel it's in their interests to sue the dead man's estate for the damage to the machine? now there would be a brave insurer!

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Old 17th Mar 2010, 20:19
  #229 (permalink)  
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Heli I gather from your post you are also a tree hugger , thats not your fault its just your upbringing at fault , however you seem confused when you ask if a "Hunt objector" will be prosecuted for trespass etc It was always likely that this idiot would get away scott free ,and i doubt if we have seen the last of the great unwashed flying around trying to catch the hunt doing something wrong . This will inevitably play into the hands of people who would like to restrict our flying I am very tempted to fly over a football pitch to see if i can spot some yobbo doing something he shouldnt be doing
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 21:44
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not sure which story 'nige' is following, but the fact is that this particular 'yobbo' raced across country to intentionally interfere with an aircraft and got considerably more than he bargained for.

I take no pleasure in the loss of life, but the fact remains that the situation was of his own making and as far as I am aware, the pilot contravened no law. I just hope that others will learn from this incident.

I am however, very pleased that the pilot was found to be not guilty.
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 21:47
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I hardly think he got away scott free. He spent some time in choky, and a year waiting for trial, first for murder, then for manslaughter.

Locking him away would only be an additional expense for the taxpayers.

The countryside rituals of hunters and protestors can now carry on in the same old ways, hopefully without aircraft involved at all.

I just hope the pilot whose carelessness has resulted in a really nasty accident will retire from the scene entirely.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 00:05
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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znww5
I just hope that others will learn from this incident.
Most pilots don't need to learn that you don't taxy aircraft so close to pedestrians that you might hit them. They already know.

Maybe the next idiot who does it and kills someone won't be so lucky with his jury.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 00:55
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znww5 Quote:
I just hope that others will learn from this incident.
"Most pilots don't need to learn that you don't taxy aircraft so close to pedestrians that you might hit them. They already know."

Perhaps I was a little ambiguous, I was actually referring to 'pedestrians'. Although bearing in mind the details of the case, I doubt that 'pedestrian' is the appropriate word.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 07:51
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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From todays Daily Mail ;

Animal rights enthusiast cleared of killing hunt supporter with gyrocopter blade


By Fay Schlesinger
Last updated at 6:37 PM on 17th March 2010



Victim: Hunt supporter Trevor Morse died when his head was 'cleaved from top to bottom' as he was hit by a gyrocopter

An animal rights activist who killed a fox hunt supporter by driving a gyrocopter at his head walked free from court today after being cleared of manslaughter.
Bryan Griffiths, 55, was piloting the aircraft when its 200mph blade cleaved the head of Trevor Morse from top to bottom.
Mr Morse, 48, died instantly after refusing to move out of the way of the gyrocopter, which was being used to film the Warwickshire Hunt on March 9 last year.
Today a jury took seven-and-a-half hours to find Mr Griffiths not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence after a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
The verdict was met with ecstatic applause and cheers from his family and friends.
But the Countryside Alliance condemned animal rights campaigners for taking the law into their own hands.
Chief executive Simon Hart said: 'It is not for animal rights activists to police the Hunting Act or any other law, especially not using clearly unsafe methods such as using a gyrocopter or any other aircraft.
'This was about harassing people who hunt. We expected justice and I have to say I am not entirely sure justice has been done.'
Previously the trial heard how Mr Griffiths, who runs a heating business in Bedworth, Warwickshire, drove the aircraft along the ground towards Mr Morse following a stand-off at Long Marston airfield.
Jurors were shown horrifying footage of the moment the rear propeller sliced through his head, killing him instantly.
Mr Morse, a hunt marshall, had driven to the airfield where Mr Griffiths was refuelling on the final day of the hunt season, to prevent him from flying overheard to monitor whether foxes were being killed illegally.

Investigation: The scene at Long Marston airfield after Mr Morse was hit by the aircraft's blades

Mr Morse parked his Land Rover in front of the gyrocopter and got out before a tense confrontation broke out between the two men.
Mr Griffiths repeatedly warned he was going to take off and told 6ft 2in Mr Morse to stand clear of the aircraft, the court heard.
But he refused to move and stood at the nose of the aircraft while waiting for other hunt members to arrive to confront the pilot.
The defendant claimed he feared violence would erupt if he did not get in the air as there was a 'mutual distrust' and 'friction' between the pro- and anti-hunting camps.
The prosecution alleged Mr Griffiths deliberately drove the 6ft-wide gyrocopter at the victim and rejected his claim that he attempted to steer through a small gap by Mr Morse.
Gareth Evans QC said: 'He deliberately drove the gyrocopter at Trevor Morse with the rear propeller at a speed of 200mph.
'Doing so we say is reckless in the extreme because the manoeuvre carried with it a very very real risk that Mr Morse was going to come into contact with the revolving rear blade of the gyrocopter.'
Cleared: Bryan Griffiths, who piloted a gyrocopter which killed a hunt supporter, was today found not guilty of manslaughter
Joint master of the hunt Anthony Spencer was accused by the defence of hatching a criminal plan with Mr Morse and other huntsmen to stop Mr Griffiths and his passenger John Curtin.
Mr Curtin is a notorious activist who was once jailed and then released without charge over a plot to dig up the remains of the tenth Duke of Beaufort in a protest over hunting.
But Mr Spencer told the court they simply agreed to block the gyrocopter from taking off while details were taken from the pilot and photographs taken to pass to the Civil Aviation Authority and police.
He told the jury: 'The intention was then to let it go about its business.'
Otis Ferry, a master of the Shropshire Hunt and son of pop star Bryan Ferry, arrived at the airfield minutes after Mr Morse was killed, after being bailed from Gloucester Crown Court over allegations of robbery and assault.
During the trial, Mr Griffiths told the court he did not feel responsible for the death.
He said: 'I feel regretful about what happened. I obviously feel regret and sadness for Mr Morse's family.
'In my opinion this was something that could have definitely been avoided but given the fact he had been told several times to move out of the way, not only by myself and others, and had clearly been told the aircraft was going to take off, I feel that all the things that could have been done were done.
'I do not actually feel responsible.'
He declined to comment after walking free from court today.
Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said tonight: 'This is a difficult time for Trevor Morse’s family, partner and friends. As a result of animal activists one man is dead and another has faced very serious criminal charges.
'If there is one outcome from the horrific events of this case it must be that the activity which led to Trevor Morse’s death is not repeated. It is for police forces to enforce the Hunting Act and the laws of the land.'
But Judy Gilbert, a hunt monitor from Buckinghamshire, said: 'We have always believed in Mr Griffiths' innocence. He is one of the most decent, honest and straight people I have met in my whole life and I am so sad to see him go through this trauma in the


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1258694/Animal-rights-enthusiast-cleared-killing-hunt-supporter-gyrocopter-blade.html#ixzz0iVpidrPQ
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 08:23
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Nigelh...my apologies to you and all who read this thread....I am afraid I mixed up my fox with my hounds and it was the hunt supporters not objectors who trespassed on the aerodrome.That doesn't mean I am a tree hugger...far from it ...but aren't there are regulations about anyone wandering across an active aerodrome and interfering or endangering aircraft ?

Having myself had to abort a landing for that very reason I feel quite strongly about it and so would you if next time it is some anti-noise or airport protester walking in front of your aircraft and causing an accident or worse.

This prosecution was one-sided and the CAA and/or police should have acted accordingly in my view.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 08:36
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Having seen some of the things hunt supporters get up to when they think they aren't being watched I'd say it was understandable the pilot wanted to make an exit when confronted by an aggressive burly farmer taking pictures and blocking him in waiting for rent-a-mob to arrive.

If these hunting people hadn't been engaged in a deliberate attempt to circumvent or downright break the law none of this would have happened. And if Morse deliberately stood in the way of a taxiing aircraft more fool him, he deserved what he got.

Last edited by Dodo56; 18th Mar 2010 at 12:20.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 08:53
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DODO 56 - Sorry mate but your last post is really insensitive,- "Mr Morse deserved what he got" - I don't think standing up for what you beleive in means you should die even though I do not agree with hunting myself.

I think hunting is a cruel, indefensible sport.

The fox is the last predetor of any decent size we have on these islands. It amazes me why people think it is OK to kill them all.

Have these people not heard of playstation, where you can kill almost anything (virtually of course).
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 09:00
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The man deliberately stood in front of a taxiing aircraft in a high-stakes game of chicken. Regardless of any pro- and anti- hunting arguments that is quite simply a monumentally stupid thing to do.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 11:48
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znww5
Perhaps I was a little ambiguous
Perhaps you were. I wasn’t. Most pilots know you don't taxy aircraft so close to pedestrians that you might hit them. Whether the people should or shouldn’t be there is irrelevant, despite what some morons here appear to believe.

Dodo56
And if Morse deliberately stood in the way of a taxiing aircraft more fool him, he deserved what he got.
That statement is beneath contempt.
It says a lot about you.
that is quite simply a monumentally stupid thing to do.
Maybe, but so is taxying an aircraft when a monumentally stupid person is in close proximity.

The gyrocopter pilot said
'given the fact he had been told several times to move out of the way, not only by myself and others, and had clearly been told the aircraft was going to take off, I feel that all the things that could have been done were done’
No responsible pilot would agree with that.
If moving your aircraft will or even might hit someone, you don't move.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 12:14
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Bronx

I think you are failing to take into account that the pilot was feeling under personal threat. Looking at the rather thuggish photo of Morse I can see why!

Presumably it was Morse's intention to physically restrain the aircraft from taking off - that in itself says a lot about the tone of his behaviour during the encounter.

Of course, living in New York you are used to routine street violence including guns as the norm, but here in the UK we are not used to that sort of thing, certainly not in leafy Warwickshire anyway. I am sure it was a difficult decision for the pilot, but if he felt he was being unlawfully detained with a view to a beating or worse, I can sympathise with his desire to get airborne.

HC
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