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Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead

Justin Adams had accused Mr Farage of “ruining his life”
  • @TomJHarper

The pilot whose life fell apart after he was involved in a plane crash with the Ukip leader Nigel Farage on the day of the 2010 general election has been found dead.

The body of Justin Adams was discovered by police at his home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on 12 November.

Detectives said a cause of death had not been established but they were not treating the incident as suspicious.

In May 2010 Mr Adams, 48, flew Mr Farage in a two-seater light aircraft streaming a Ukip campaign banner behind it. The plane crashed in Brackley, Northamptonshire, and an inquiry later found that the banner had became entangled, causing the plane to nosedive. Mr Adams and Mr Farage both needed treatment for serious injuries.

The crash left the pilot suffering from depression. Mr Adams was eventually cleared of any blame, but accused Mr Farage of “ruining his life” and became angry that the official investigation had taken so long to complete.

He blamed the inquiry for the break-up of his marriage and the failure of his business because he could not file an insurance claim until it had concluded.

Mr Adams claimed he had been “evicted” from his family home, forced to live with his elderly mother and “incarcerated” in her house.

In 2011, he was convicted of five counts of making threats to kill Mr Farage and the Civil Aviation Authority investigator Martin James. Mr Justice Saunders sentenced Mr Adams to a two-year community order after the court heard he repeatedly threatened Mr Farage, both directly and through a 999 operator.

During one 45-minute call to emergency services, Mr Adams said: “It’s just been delivered. I now have a 9mm pistol. I have got the means to do it and I will take them and then myself.”

The court heard that Mr Adams had called Ukip secretary Samantha Sutton, warning her he had ordered a gun and that Mr Farage had a week to issue a joint press statement with him or he would kill him and Mr James.

Mr Adams said in court that he had made the “spurious” threats because he was so desperate for treatment for depression and alcohol abuse.

He said he was angry that the Ukip leader had been able to talk to the media when he had had to stay silent and lost out on big-money offers to sell his story. During his evidence, Mr Farage said: “I was very, very worried indeed and not only a bit scared.”

Later the Ukip leader added: “[Mr Adams] said, ‘I used to be in the special forces and no one is safe, do you understand me?’

“He said, ‘I was going to kill you today but I have decided not to but I can’t preclude that happening in the future’. He said, ‘I know this may not be rational, but I have lost everything and if I kill you I will then kill myself’.”

Mr Farage said: “He believed I had profited out of the accident and that was simply untrue.”

Mr Adams’s ex-wife did not respond to calls.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “A man found dead at his home address on Rotunda Road, Eastbourne, on 12 November has been identified as Justin Adams, aged 48.

“A cause of death has not been established but it is not being treated as suspicious. An inquest has been opened and adjourned.”