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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Lord Ballyedmond died instantly in helicopter crash, inquest told

A coroner has opened an inquest into the deaths of Lord Ballyedmond and the three other people who died when the tycoon’s helicopter crashed in thick fog in Norfolk.

Lord Ballyedmond photo
Lord Ballyedmond

The 70-year-old Conservative life peer, who owned Corby Castle at Great Corby, near Carlisle, was Cumbria’s richest man, reportedly worth £860m.

At a brief hearing yesterday, Norfolk Coroner Jacqueline Lake confirmed a post mortem had revealed that all four men on the helicopter died as a result of sustaining head and chest injuries.

“For reasons yet unknown, the helicopter crashed shortly after take-off and all four men on board died instantly,” said the coroner.

The 15-minute hearing also confirmed the names of the other three men on board.

They were Carl Dickerson, 36, of Thornton, Lancashire, who was chief pilot at Haughey Air Ltd; Lee Hoyle, 45, from Macclesfield, a co-pilot at the same company; and Declan Small, 42, a foreman and joiner who worked for Lord Ballyedmond. He was from Mayobridge, Co Down.

The peer’s AW139 helicopter came down last Thursday evening in a field at Gillingham on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, a short distance from Gillingham Hall, a stately home and 55-acre estate which Lord Ballyedmond’s bought in 2005 for £2.25m.

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