A SENIOR RAF officer could face a court martial over the deaths of 14 servicemen including an officer from Highcliffe.

Flight Lieutenant Leigh Mitchelmore, who grew up in Christchurch and attended Highcliffe school, was among those who died when a Nimrod spy plane burst into flames over Afghanistan on September 2, 2006.

Air Commodore George Baber, who was responsible for the Nimrod’s safety, now faces the threat of a two-year jail sentence after military investigators concluded there is sufficient evidence to charge him. They are set to refer the case to prosecutors.

Baber will face a court martial if the Royal Air Force’s Special Investigations Branch decides to press charges.

Wing Commander Michael Eagles, who was also responsible for fleet safety and later promoted, is still under investigation.

Families of the 14 airmen, based at RAF Kinloss in Moray, won £15million compensation from the Ministry of Defence following a long legal battle.