Defence pleads guilty over Anzac Day chopper crash

07:31, Jul 18 2014
COURT DRAMA: Left: Sergeant Stevin Creeggan, who took the case against the Defence Force. Right: Air vice-marshal Mike Yardley.

The Defence Force has pleaded guilty to failing to take all practicable steps to keep employees safe in a charge taken by the sole survivor of the 2010 Anzac Day military helicopter crash.

Helicopter crewman Sergeant Stevin Creeggan suffered severe chest, spinal and leg injuries when the Iroquois crashed in cloudy conditions at Pukerua Bay north of Porirua on April 25, 2010.

Captain Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, 33, and co-pilot Flying Officer Dan Gregory, 28, and crewman Corporal Ben Carson, 25, were killed.

They and Creeggan were on one of three helicopters heading from Ohakea airbase, Manawatu, to Wellington for a flypast of a Anzac Day dawn service.

Creeggan's private prosecution against Defence comes after he had to get the District Court's permission to lay a charge outside the normal time limits.

The Department of Labour, then tasked with overseeing workplace safety, did not investigate the crash.

The Defence Force pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court today to failing to take all practicable steps to ensure employees were not exposed to hazards arising from the operation of helicopters.

Creeggan is sitting alongside his lawyers for the hearing before Judge Bill Hastings.

The hearing is continuing.