Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Emiliano Sala: Flight organiser jailed for 18 months

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 12 Nov 2021

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David Henderson, the organiser of the flight responsible for the deaths of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson, has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.

Henderson, 67, was last month found guilty of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Sala was on his way to Cardiff City on January 21, 2019, after signing from Ligue 1 club Nantes for £15million (€20m) when his plane came down over the English Channel, killing the striker, 28, and the pilot, Ibbotson, 59.

The court was previously told Henderson arranged the flight with football agent William McKay and asked Mr Ibbotson to fly the plane as he was in Paris on holiday.

Mr Ibbotson – who did not hold a commercial pilot’s licence – was not qualified to fly at night and his rating to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu had expired.

A jury of seven men and five women were told that moments after finding out about the incident, Henderson contacted numerous people to ask them to stay silent, saying it would “open a can of worms”.

The jury took seven and a half hours to come to a verdict before Henderson was convicted at Cardiff Crown Court, where he returned on Friday to be sentenced.

Henderson was given 18 months for endangering the safety of an aircraft, along with a three-month sentence to be served concurrently for attempting to discharge a passenger.

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