SES and police divers trying to retrieve the plane that crashed into the Clarence River at Ewingar in April 2014.
SES and police divers trying to retrieve the plane that crashed into the Clarence River at Ewingar in April 2014. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Pilot's sentence after girl's death 'manifestly inadequate'

A NORTH Coast pilot who was flying when his plane crashed and killed an 11-year-old girl has had his sentence reviewed.

Earlier this year John Crumpton received a 15-month suspended sentence over the crash on the Clarence River at Ewingar, which killed Kayla Whitten.

Crumpton was flying his Maule M-5 four-seater plane with passengers Kayla and her father, David Whitten, in April 2014 when he hit powerlines and plunged into the Clarence River.

He was found guilty of reckless flying, but was acquitted of manslaughter.

Pilot John Crumpton leaving Lismore court with his wife Leanne after a eight day District Court trial.
Pilot John Crumpton leaving Lismore court with his wife Leanne after a eight day District Court trial. Photo: Rodney Stevens

The Court of Appeal yesterday ruled yesterday that Crumpton's suspended sentence was "manifestly inadequate”.

ABC North Coast this morning reported the court proposed a total sentence of two years and nine months against the pilot.

"He will return to court for an assessment to rule whether he is suitable for an intensive correction order, which means he would stay at home and undertake community service instead of going to prison,” the ABC reported.

The ABC also said the court heard Crumpton was remorseful and had paid the girl's family $300,000 in compensation.



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