THE parents of a man who fell to his death while paragliding in South America are hoping for justice as the people whose negligence they believe killed their son finally face trial.

Four people will appear in court in Argentina next week accused of causing the death of 28-year-old David Mather.

Mr Mather died on New Year's Eve 2008 after plummeting 200ft during his first tandem paragliding flight while on holiday in the country.

The trial follows a five-year battle by Mr Mather's parents, Ian and Ceri Mather, from Bishopton, near Stockton, to bring those responsible before the courts.

They believe Mr Mather's harness was unfastened shortly before the flight by a member of staff from the paragliding company.

It is claimed the pilot then took off without checking Mr Mather was secure, leaving him hanging by his arms and shouting for help.

Unable to cling on, Mr Mather fell hundreds of feet into a garden. He died instantly.

The incident was witnessed by Mr Mather's brother, Gareth.

The couple only found out this week that the trial was about to start.

Ian Mather, former acting principal at Freebrough College, in Brotton, east Cleveland, said the family had gone through terrible times and deeply missed David.

"After all this time and after constant fighting for justice for David we are amazed that suddenly, out of the blue we are at the start of the case.

"My greatest concern is that these people do not walk free. Our son did not have that option."

The case will be decided by a judge as there is no jury system in Argentina.

During the trial, the courtroom will travel to the scene of the accident - a mountain side near the Argentinian city of Salta - where the tragedy will be reenacted.

According to Mr Mather, there were no laws in Argentina covering negligence and those responsible were unlikely to face a prison if found guilty.

However, he said the family would push for a custodial sentence, adding: "The people who caused David's death have been walking around free for five years.

"While every New Year's Eve they have celebrated, we have been in a deep depression, missing our fabulous son for yet another year."

Following the accident, the family launched the David Mather Foundation to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Salta improve their education.