The first pre-inquest review hearing arising from the Leicester City Football Club helicopter crash took place on 9 May 2024. H.M. Senior Coroner for Leicester City & South Leicestershire, Professor Catherine Mason, has resumed the inquests into the deaths of the five people who were killed in the crash at King Power Stadium on 27 October 2018.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (Chairman of Leicester City FC), Eric Swaffer, Izabela Lechowicz, Nusara Suknami and Kaveporn Punpara all lost their lives in this major aviation accident five and a half years ago. Stewarts partners Sarah Stewart and Peter Neenan are instructed by the families of Khun Vichai, Eric and Izabela, and have instructed Philip Shepherd KC and Bajul Shah as counsel for the family of Khun Vichai.

Professor Mason held a pre-inquest review hearing (PIRH) in Leicester Town Hall in order to hear submissions on a number of procedural issues.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) carried out an investigation into the crash. These inquests have been on hold pending the investigation’s final report, which was published on 6 September 2023. The detailed, 209-page report raised serious concerns about the safety of the helicopter and the actions of its Italian manufacturer, Leonardo S.p.A. The court heard arguments over the status of the AAIB investigation and whether it was in any way “incomplete, flawed or deficient” such as to warrant the Senior Coroner carrying out her own further investigation or whether she could and should adopt and accept the findings therein.

Concerns were raised on behalf of three of the bereaved families represented by Stewarts over the length of time taken by the AAIB to produce their final report, and the cause of that delay, which has in turn impacted the progress of the inquests and prolonged their suffering.

A further PIRH will now be listed towards the end of 2024, with the final inquest hearing likely to take place over two-to-three weeks in early 2025.



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