Instructor lied on documents

Guilty: Ian King
Guilty: Ian King

A FLYING instructor may face jail after he was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining a pilot’s licence for a businessman from Bailiff Bridge.

Ian King displayed a “gross breach of trust” by signing off Paul Spencer’s training records just weeks before the accident that killed both him and his wife Linda.

The couple died when the helicopter he was piloting came down in Rudding Park resort, Harrogate, in January 2008.

Mr Spencer, 43, and his wife, 59, ran Country Baskets, a business which sold dried flowers in Harrogate, and were regular visitors to the hotel.

King, of Wetherby, had pleaded not guilty to making a false representation with intent to deceive the Civil Aviation Authority.

But yesterday a jury of six men and six women, found King guilty.

The jury at Leeds Crown Court had been told that Mr Spencer obtained his licence after King falsely certified to the authority that his student had complied with all the training requirements and flown the required amount of hours.

Judge Tom Bayliss told King: “I do take the view that this is a gross breach of trust.

“This is, in my judgement, a serious matter.

“It involves a breach of trust that was placed in you by the Civil Aviation Authority and shows a disregard on your part for the safety requirements imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority.”

Adjourning the case until next month for sentencing, he added: “You are to be under no illusion in adjourning this case today for pre-sentence reports that this case is to be dealt with in any other way than custody.

“But I would be assisted by knowing more about you and your personal circumstances when I come to sentence.”

The court was also told yesterday that King has two previous Civil Aviation Authority convictions and has been banned from being an instructor since 2009.

King was granted bail until his sentencing on Monday, February 4.