UKIP crash pilot guilty of making threats to Nigel Farage

The pilot of a plane which crashed and injured Ukip leader Nigel Farage during an election day stunt was today convicted of making threats to kill.







Justin Adams, 46, of Faringdon, Oxfordshire, was found guilty by a jury at Oxford Crown Court of five counts of making threats to kill relating to Mr Farage and Civil Aviation Authority crash investigator Martin James.



The crash on May 6, 2010, in which the light aircraft nose-dived to the ground while towing a campaign banner left both Adams and Mr Farage in hospital.



Adams, who was dressed in a navy blue suit and striped tie, stood in the dock staring straight ahead as the guilty verdicts were delivered.



The Honourable Mr Justice Saunders adjourned sentencing until the week commencing May 9, pending a pre-sentence report.



Remanding Adams in custody, he said he was "clearly extremely disturbed" at the time the offences happened.



He added: "He is a man who does need help. If I can find a way of giving him help I will."



During the trial, prosecutor Alan Blake argued that the threats were intended to make those receiving them fear they would be carried out.



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



He said: "I'm going to kill somebody or two", the court heard.



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



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



Adams told the operator he had lost his livelihood, house, wife and child in the wake of the CAA investigation.



He said: "You need to understand all charges were dropped against me after six or seven months of investigations. In the intervening period everything else fell apart."



He added: "He's taken my life, I'll take his."



Referring to Mr Farage during the conversation, he said the politician had promised to issue a joint media statement following the conclusion of the investigation into the crash, which had cleared him.



He added that he had met him for lunch to discuss it and "upped the pressure".



He said: "Never use your last bullet, always keep a spare. I've got eight and need four to use. Three active and one spare."



During the call, Adams stated he had not worked since May and received £30 a week, in place of his previous £50,000 a year earnings.



The court heard that Adams was later arrested by police and taken into custody.



Giving evidence in his defence, Adams told the jury that, after the crash, his mental health had been "rapidly spiralling downhill", as his business and personal relationship deteriorated.



He said he felt he was not receiving the help he needed and made the threats "in the belief and hope I would get put inside".



He said: "I could see no other way. I made a decision to make these threats purely to get assistance."



Adams said he had received media approaches to talk about the crash, but it had been initially suggested to him by Mr Farage that there would be an opportunity to speak after the investigation ended in his favour.



He claimed friends later informed him that Mr Farage was "generating PR as a result of the crash".



Detective Constable Julia Tuhill, the officer in charge of the case at Thames Valley Police, said: "I feel today's judgment is the correct one and I would like to thank the victims for all their assistance in bringing this matter to light and helping us to secure this conviction.



"Justin Adams made very serious threats to his victims that could not be ignored; threats that were significant enough to make them genuinely concerned for their welfare.



"I hope the victims can get some peace of mind from today's outcome and put this matter behind them."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future