Pair face jail over leaked Emiliano Sala mortuary images | Football
Two people are facing prison sentences after they admitted accessing footage of the footballer Emiliano Sala’s postmortem examination.
Sala, 28, who had just signed a £15m contract for Cardiff City, had been flying from Nantes in France to the Welsh capital on 21 January.
An autopsy took place at Bournemouth mortuary the day after specialist contractors removed his body from the Piper Malibu light aircraft. The body of the pilot, David Ibbotson, has never been found.
During an appearance at Swindon crown court on Friday, Sherry Bray, 49, and Christopher Ashford, 62, both from Wiltshire, admitted accessing CCTV footage of the examination.
Ashford and Bray, from Calne and Corsham respectively, admitted to three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between 9 and 11 February this year.
Bray also admitted perverting the course of public justice after instructing Ashford on 12 February to “delete your pics”, and the next day deleting the postmortem cameras from the live feed camera facility and deleting a postmortem image of Sala from her mobile phone.
Two of the charges against Bray of securing unauthorised access to computer material relate to her operating CCTV equipment at the mortuary to access the examination of Sala.
The third charge relates to her using the equipment on 24 April last year to view the postmortem of another man, Andrew Victor Latcham.
The pair were told by the judge, Peter Crabtree, that the starting point for sentencing for such offences was custody. He said the case was “extremely serious”.
Wiltshire police said Bray was the director of a CCTV company in Chippenham which held the out-of-hours contract to monitor the cameras at the mortuary in Bournemouth and that Ashford was an employee.
It said an investigation was launched after a graphic image of Sala’s post-mortem examination was spotted circulating on social media, and this led to the CCTV company’s offices being searched. The inquiry found Bray had taken photographs of the footage on her phone and sent a picture to another person using Facebook Messenger.
The pair were released on bail and will reappear at the court on 20 September.