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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

Old 18th Mar 2010, 12:42
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I agree with Bronx. The pilot has (in my view) a duty to shut down, and call police assistence (if needed) for any threat he feels or law he thinks may have been broken.

To act otherwise may lead to a person loosing their life. That is an unacceptable option. for any Pilot.

I respect the decisions of the court, though I don't always agree with them, and remember that they don't always form precedent (being, as in this case, fact based and Jury tried). So, here in the UK, if you find a pedestrian (or other obstruction) in your way and you don't take the safests option (ie shut down) you may also have your day in Court to justify your decisions.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 13:17
  #242 (permalink)  

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The case is over and the jury has decided.

Despite a lot of things that were said during this trial, two main things that don't sit quite right with me are;

1. Despite feeling threatened, why did he carry on with the taxi/take off when he recognised that there was risk to life?

2. If it really was because he felt threatened, and also remember that he said he felt ' extremely agitated', (equivelant to road rage to mortals);

Griffiths, a plumber, later said in a police interview that he feared he could have been set upon by hunt supporters.

May I suggest then that when undertaking such contraversial flights, he remembers at which address and in whose name the aircraft is registered!
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 13:45
  #243 (permalink)  

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I also agree with Bronx.

Lets have a scenario where one has have landed somewhere for whatever reason,... lets say so that your 'pax' could drag a child from a frozen lake.

The child is now away in a land ambulance.

If during your preparations to leave the scene, the aircraft is approached by what looks like a local thug and a mate with sticks and stones (a situation I would consider to be more dangerous to you, your crew and the aircraft than a video camera), what should you do?

a. Should you shut down/abort the take off and discuss the situation with the local thugs?
b. Should you continue your actions and hope to fly away from the situation, despite the dangers to those on the ground approaching the aircraft and also potentially to the aircraft itself and those on board??

As an extra, would your decision change if the frozen child was on board your aircraft? (just to add an 'extremely agitated' side to the scenario)
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 14:53
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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Whatever your decision, should it lead to injury or loss of life you will get your opportunity to explain yourself to the Court. If they side with you - you go free. If not, you go to jail - potentially for a long time. Either way you live with the knowledge that your actions led to the death of someone who "might" have been trouble, or might not.

You can construct fanciful situations as you like. Eventually you will get to a construct where I will agree that I would lift & flee. If in doing so I kill someone, then I am going to have to face a Court and explain my actions.

With no more information at my disposal than the newspaper articles, in his situation I would have shut-down.

No sticks.
No stones.
Only threatening behaviour was to "stand in the way"

I would have shut-down and he would be alive and I would not be in court on charges that could lead to 10 yrs in Jail.

If you see it different - not a problem for me.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 20:21
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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Despite a lot of things that were said during this trial, two main things that don't sit quite right with me are;
1. Despite feeling threatened, why did he carry on with the taxi/take off when he recognised that there was risk to life?
2. If it really was because he felt threatened, and also remember that he said he felt ' extremely agitated', (equivelant to road rage to mortals);
Good points! I don't believe he DID feel so threatened that he needed to 'get away' - whatever the consequences. He had John Curtin in the cockpit with him, who is no stranger to violence, being one of the founders of the so-called Hunt Retribution Squad which planted incendiary devices under hunt members cars, sent letters out booby-trapped with razor blades in the envelope fold - and a lot more! And Peter Bunce on the ground. Mr. Morse was one man, with a female friend!

The most telling thing was the verbal reaction to the death of Mr. Morse - recorded on video. " “Oh dear. The t*** didn’t stand clear of it. I just . . .” (I would have liked to have known what followed the 'I just...' - but there was clearly no remorse or concern.)

Claiming a 'fear of violence' from hunt supporters was no doubt a successful tactic in this case. And - of course - there was the nonsense about the alleged shooting at the gyrocopter! It all added up to the jury believing he acted out of fear.

But it's over now - one might hope the CAA might see things a bit differently and take action against the pilot. One might hope that the pilot will have learned a lesson and stay away from so-called 'hunt monitoring' in the future. All I can hope is that it is the last tragic and unnecessary death related to the ongoing disputes about hunting.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 21:07
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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@ Maverick Laddie:"Would this be the same Bryan Griffiths who worked for Rolls Royce at Ansty in the early 80's"

Looks like it may be, yes:

"Mr Griffiths, who trained as an engineer at Dunlop Aviation and worked at Rolls-Royce"

from the Timesonline story:

Pilot Bryan Griffithsis cleared over death of huntsman Trevor Morse hit by gyrocopter - Times Online

Also in the above article is the completed sentence taken from the video of the incident that JanetGeorge quotes "I just couldn't...":

"On the tape, two thuds could be heard after the picture was cut. When the images resumed, Mr Morse was lying dead. “It was so shocking, the impact and the noise,” Mr Tipping added. “I just couldn’t move. Then it was deathly silence. No one screamed. No one said anything at all.”

A horrible story altogether, and I can't believe Mr Griffiths is getting away with taking another man's life, never mind the politics of the situation.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 05:35
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Morse was determined to prevent the aircraft taking off, which he did.

His zeal in driving to the airfield and repeatedly preventing the lawful operation of the aircraft by willfully intimidating the pilot and instigating the incident which led to damage to the aircraft and his own death is wholly his own responsibility!

Morse behaved in the manner of a thug and died by his own actions.

I had no doubt that the pilot would be cleared, once the facts were known to the jury.

The pilot has endured a truly horrible experience and will hopefully be able to get on with his life without further intimidation.

He should sue for false arrest, imprisonment and malicious prosecution!
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 08:57
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Bryan Griffiths was at the controls of an aircraft that hit a man and killed him. Bryan Griffiths had the choice of not taxiing his aircraft and it looks like to me that he has got away with murder to coin a phrase. He has the blood of Trevor Morse on his hands and will have to live with that for the rest of his life. A very sad event that I am sure Bryan Griffiths regrets.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 10:27
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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He has the blood of Trevor Morse on his hands and will have to live with that for the rest of his life. A very sad event that I am sure Bryan Griffiths regrets.
Any decent person would, but this pilot doesn't see it that way -
'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.'
But I guess decent people wouldn't take this man flying:
The Times can reveal today that Mr Griffiths’s passenger was a convicted animal rights extremist. The jury was not told that John Curtin, 49 had been jailed for two years for planning to dig up the remains of the 10th Duke of Beaufort and send the head to the Princess Royal. His part in the 1980s plot was intended, he said, to give fox hunters, whom he called “blood junkies”, a “taste of their own violent medicine”.

Mr Curtin, who had led the campaigns at Huntingdon Life Sciences’ laboratories and was questioned by police in connection with robbing the grave of Gladys Hammond, a relative of owners of a farm breeding guinea-pigs for experiments, was the first to volunteer to sit in the back of the gyrocopter. A few months later the two took to the air together, dividing their time between the Warwickshire and neighbouring Haythrop hunts.
Easy to see why the defense didn't want the jury to know that.
I wonder if the jury would have been as sympathetic to the pilot's story if they had known.


heli-cal
I had no doubt that the pilot would be cleared, once the facts were known to the jury.
Good for you.
In the end, the jury weren't sure the pilot was guilty but it took them 7.5 hours to give him the benefit of the doubt.
He should sue for false arrest, imprisonment and malicious prosecution!
If you were able to look at the facts objectively you'd be able to see that the pilot has no grounds to sue for any of those things.

Last edited by Bronx; 19th Mar 2010 at 10:55.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 11:46
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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Just my tupence worth, and yes I realise the case is over so this is purely to add to the discussion.

We are all aware of the Emergency Services coming under attack on a daily basis from what is extremely violent behaviour, and whilst they are responding to life threatening events, yet I don't recall reading of a fire engine driving over a group of yoofs who are hurling bricks et al at the members of the services. Equally I am sure we have all heard of more then one Air Ambulance engaged on a job whereby people have threatened the crew and/or climbed on the aircraft, again I am not aware of any AA starting up regardless so putting pedestrians lives at risk even when they have the casualty on board.

My point is I would class these types of situations as threatening yet the crews react accordingly either attempting to placate the situation or calling in the cavalry as required, they do not blindly carry on ignoring the fact that death is likely using the excuse 'well I asked them to get out of the way'.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 15:03
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Shows what an ass the law is.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 09:04
  #252 (permalink)  

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I'm amazed that a Chinese Tank driver/Commander can assess the consequences of their actions and therefore doesn't continue to take action that would risk an individuals life......





...yet Mr Griffiths, "who trained as an engineer at Dunlop Aviation and worked at Rolls-Royce" and is also an aircraft pilot,... does not.

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.'
Surely to have someone so close to this type of aircraft with the engine running, one would know what was coming next. Did he allow pax to get in and out with it running? I wonder why not!

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Old 22nd Mar 2010, 01:01
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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gyrocopter

The Times can reveal today that Mr Griffiths’s passenger was a convicted animal rights extremist. The jury was not told that John Curtin, 49 had been jailed for two years for planning to dig up the remains of the 10th Duke of Beaufort and send the head to the Princess Royal. His part in the 1980s plot was intended, he said, to give fox hunters, whom he called “blood junkies”, a “taste of their own violent medicine”.

Mr Curtin, who had led the campaigns at Huntingdon Life Sciences’ laboratories and was questioned by police in connection with robbing the grave of Gladys Hammond, a relative of owners of a farm breeding guinea-pigs for experiments, was the first to volunteer to sit in the back of the gyrocopter. A few months later the two took to the air together, dividing their time between the Warwickshire and neighbouring Haythrop hunts
And what, exactly, is the relevance of this gem to this court case? Are we supposing that the evil Mr Curtin was in the back seat egging on Mr Griffiths in a dastardly way to kill this fella? "Go on son, chop his head off, he murders foxes." I know this is a rumour network, but a few facts wouldn't go amiss when trying to convict a person in an online kangaroo court. As far as I know Curtin was not on trial as an accessory to murder or any other charge in this dreadful episode, whatever the Times may say, so I 'm at a loss to see what this has to do with anything. Other than perhaps a character assassination on the gyrocopter pilot for mixing with the sort of people who get jailed for "planning" to dig up a body and "questioned" but not charged, for grave robbing. Whatever Curtin's past, he did not chop Mr Morse's head in two. Or did he? Perhaps the Times knows something we don't.
Best wishes all
Seang
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Old 22nd Mar 2010, 03:43
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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Heli-cal:
I had no doubt that the pilot would be cleared, once the facts were known to the jury.
Bronx:
Good for you.
In the end, the jury weren't sure the pilot was guilty but it took them 7.5 hours to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"In the end, the jury", with the benefit of hearing and seeing all the evidence, hearing and seeing the Defendant, witnesses, experts, barristers and Judge, and after "7.5 hours" of deliberation, cleared the pilot, as charged!

The verdict of the jury absolutely confirms that they were certain that the pilot was not guilty as charged, despite your ludicrous statement.

heli-cal:
He should sue for false arrest, imprisonment and malicious prosecution!
Bronx:
If you were able to look at the facts objectively you'd be able to see that the pilot has no grounds to sue for any of those things.
What are the facts to which you refer?

The jury gets to hear that which is legally relevant, clearly, the spent convictions of the passenger did not fall into that category!
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 15:03
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Lightbulb

I make no comment whatsoever about the specific case under discussion. That is intentional.

Heli-cal
The verdict of the jury absolutely confirms that they were certain that the pilot was not guilty as charged, despite your ludicrous statement.
Your bold assertion is incorrect; you misunderstand the criminal trial process.

The burden of proving a defendant's guilt is on the prosecution and the standard of proof required is high. In England & Wales, the judge directs a jury in these or very similar terms:
The prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty. He does not have to prove his innocence. In a criminal trial the burden of proving the defendant's guilt is always on the prosecution.
How does the prosecution succeed in proving the defendant's guilt? The answer is - by making you sure of it. Nothing less than that will do.
If after considering all the evidence you are sure that the defendant is guilty, you must return a verdict of 'Guilty'.
If you are not sure, your verdict must be 'Not Guilty'.
NB: Being "certain that the defendant is not guilty as charged" (your proposition) is not the criterion.
eg A jury considers that the defendant is probably guilty: Verdict = Not Guilty.
eg A jury is almost sure the defendant is guilty: Verdict = Not Guilty.

In common parlance, it is often referred to as giving a defendant the benefit of the doubt. In law it means that the prosecution has not proved guilt to the required standard.
In Scotland there is a third verdict available of ‘Not Proven’. That is not an option in England & Wales nor, as far as I’m aware, in any other jurisdiction.

He should sue for false arrest, imprisonment and malicious prosecution!
You don't say why you think the pilot would have grounds for each or any of those claims.

The fact that someone is subsequently acquitted does not of itself mean that the arrest was unlawful.
Nor, where he is remanded in custody for any period pending trial, that he was unlawfully imprisoned.
Nor that it was a malicious prosecution.

FL
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