Families “must get justice”

The family of Cumbernauld helicopter crash victim Raymond Doyle have emerged from the five year “nightmare” of a major inquiry determined to see justice done.

Along with the other 15 families caught up in the horror of the 2009 Bond helicopter disaster in the North Sea they are dismayed by the failure of the inquiry, as they see it, to deliver any fair or adequate result.

“It has been a horrific five years,” said Mrs Wilma Doyle, who with daughters Caroline and Lorraine endured six gruelling weeks of inquiry followed by major national news exposure when the findings were made known.

“But to suggest (as Bond helicopters has done) that it brings any kind of closure is completely wrong.

“You cannot hope to bring ‘closure’ in any case, but noboody should be in any doubt that the inquiry is not the end of the story.

“The 16 families deserve to see justice done - and that clearly hasn’t happened.”

Daughters Caroline and Lorraine agree, and say it is wrong that the legal process ruled out the possibility of criminal culpability before all the evidence had been gathered.

Their dad, then aged 57, a man well-known and much-liked in Condorrat, trusted his life to the helicopter used to transport him and his fellow workers to and from the rigs.

A basic claim against the company is that it erred, fatally, in terms of health and safety.

Pat Rafferty, Scottish secretary of the union Unite, deplored the “unacceptable delays families of victims face in their pursuit of fact and justice surrounding their loved one’s death.”

He also slammed “lack of transparency and engagement with the victims’ families” in the process leading to the convention of the FAI - and attacked the judge’s “toothless” determination.

The union wants to see further legal action, and a major reprise of how fatal accident inquiries are conducted.

For the Doyle family, and all the other families caught up in the disaster, it’s a view which sums up what they see as an irresistable case for a new and different approach.

Mrs Doyle said: “If it had not been for the questions asked at the start of this by Tom Marshall this would all have been over before it even started. It is still not over.”