Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 19:00 UK

Court hope after Nimrod explosion

Court hope after Nimrod explosion

The family of a man who was killed when his aircraft exploded over Afghanistan hope a new human rights ruling will boost a negligence claim.

Sgt Ben Knight was among 14 servicemen killed in 2006 on board an RAF Nimrod.

On Monday the High Court overturned a ruling that the men's human rights had not been breached after they flew the plane despite it not being airworthy.

Sgt Knight's father Graham has already launched a private action against the Ministry of Defence over his death.

His mother, Trish, of Bridgwater, told BBC News: "He was only 25 and I know it's a cliche but your children aren't supposed to die before you.

"He was so full of life, outgoing and cheerful. He's always said 'don't worry, we're three miles up, no one can get us' and I was cross with Ben because I believed him."

Refuelling disaster

In May 2008 a coroner ruled the Nimrod fleet, based at RAF Kinloss, had never been airworthy and should be grounded.

Crash site
The plane crashed in the Afghan desert six minutes after an SOS call

The MoD said it had already planned to compensate families of the victims.

The Nimrod spy plane exploded on 2 September 2006, shortly after undergoing air-to-air refuelling.

On Tuesday Mrs Knight released a photograph of the crash scene given to her by the Ministry of Defence.

It shows the tail end of Mr Knight's stricken aircraft embedded in the ground following the crash six minutes after the crew sent out a distress call.

Mrs Knight, whose son was an RAF sergeant, added: "I try and take comfort from the fact that he was with friends when he died.

"He's always there because he's around in the house with all the photographs and he's always my child. "I find it difficult now when military aircraft fly over."



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