'I can't believe he's gone', says Brazil plane crash mother

A WOMAN whose son is presumed dead after his plane went missing in Brazil has spoken for the first time of her anguish at his disappearance. Phil Woodhall was speaking after a memorial service on Saturday for her son Sean, a property developer and former

A WOMAN whose son is presumed dead after his plane went missing in Brazil has spoken for the first time of her anguish at his disappearance.

Phil Woodhall was speaking after a memorial service on Saturday for her son Sean, a property developer and former St Neots Ernulf School pupil.

Mrs Woodhall, 62, told The Hunts Post: "People tell me that I have to move on and accept that Sean is gone but I can't do it. I am not ready to move on.

"I still want to bring him back one way or the other. He was a one-off and an incredible son."

Mr Woodhall, 43, was the director of property development firm Worldwide Destinations, which has developments in Egypt and Brazil and a UK office in St Neots.

More than 100 friends and family attended the memorial service for Mr Woodhall in his parents' village of Tempsford, eight miles south of St Neots.

Most Read

Mr Woodhall was living in Spain when he went missing on May 2. The light aircraft he was travelling in lost contact with air traffic control along the north east coast of Brazil.

Three other British businessmen, along with two Brazilian pilots, had been on the plane when it disappeared. The men included 46-year-old Alan Kempson, a former director of troubled finance business Diamond Lifestyle, based in Huntingdon.

Mr Kempson, who has a house in Alconbury Weston, was understood to have begun looking at property developments with Mr Woodhall following the collapse of Diamond Lifestyle, which went into administration shortly after the plane disappeared.

Also on board were fellow Diamond Lifestyle director Nigel Hodges, 52, and Ricky Every, 41, who worked for Worldwide Destinations in Brazil.

Some wreckage and personal effects belonging to the men were found on a Brazilian beach near to where the plane went missing on May 7.

Mrs Woodhall said she received two text messages from her son in Brazil on the day he disappeared, telling her about a helicopter flight aborted due to the weather.

"The last text said: 'All safe, love you' and a kiss," Mrs Woodhall said.

"Nobody contacted me to tell me what had happened. I turned on the TV and heard that four businessmen were missing in Brazil and I just knew."

She added: "It was only by chance that Sean and Alan started working together. They knew each other from years ago but bumped into each other at Malaga Airport earlier this year completely by chance.

"I said to Sandy [Alan Kempson's wife]: 'I bet you rue the day they met'."

Two of Mr Woodhall's five children, Bradley Lovelock, 14, and Carmel Lovelock, 22, gave readings at his memorial service, as did his brother Mark Lovelock and father Ron Lovelock.

Mrs Woodhall added: "It was very difficult and absolutely moving. I think Sean must have ordered the weather because the sun was shining so brightly."

A memorial service for Mr Hodges is taking place in Somerset on Saturday. A service for Mr Kempson is scheduled for September.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter