Nigel Farage death threats crash pilot guilty

Nigel Farage being helped from the wreckage of the plane by a passer-by Mr Farage was taken to hospital after the crash on election day 2010

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A pilot has been convicted of threatening to kill UKIP leader Nigel Farage following a plane crash.

A jury found Justin Adams guilty of making five threats relating to Mr Farage and crash investigator Martin James after the accident in May 2010.

Oxford Crown Court heard a telephone call between a police handler and a man calling himself Justin Adams who claimed to have a 9mm pistol.

Adams, 46, of Faringdon, Oxfordshire, denied the five charges.

Both Mr Farage and Adams were injured in the light aircraft crash on 6 May, the day of the 2010 general election, after it nose-dived to the ground while towing a campaign banner in Northamptonshire. They were both taken to hospital.

Sentencing was adjourned until the week commencing 9 May.

'Extremely disturbed'

Remanding Adams in custody, Mr Justice Saunders said the defendant 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."

Justin Adams Adams thought Mr Farage was "generating PR" from the crash

Mr Farage said after the verdict: "From beginning to end, this is a very, very sad case indeed.

"It's been my belief all the way through that what Mr Adams needs is help and I don't really believe from our mental health services that he's received that."

The court heard Adams said he had received media offers to talk about the crash, but it had been suggested to him by Mr Farage that he should not speak until after the conclusion of the investigation in his favour.

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

The court heard threats were intended to make those receiving them fear they would be carried out.

Within the conversation between the police call handler and the man calling himself Justin Adams in November last year, he was heard to say: "I know where they live, they destroyed my life."

'No other way'

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

Start Quote

From beginning to end, this is a very, very sad case indeed”

End Quote Nigel Farage

Adams told the operator he had lost his livelihood, house, wife and child in the wake of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigation, the court heard.

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".

"I could see no other way," he said.

"I made a decision to make these threats purely to get assistance."

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