Emiliano Sala: Flight organiser convicted over plane deaths

David Henderson
David Henderson was found guilty of endangering the safety of an aircraft in which a footballer and pilot died

The organiser of the flight in which footballer Emiliano Sala died has been found guilty by majority verdict of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, died in the crash in the English Channel in January 2019.

David Henderson, 67, of Hotham, East Riding of Yorkshire, was found guilty after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

He had also previously admitted trying to arrange a flight for a passenger without permission or authorisation.

It took the jury seven and a half hours to convict Henderson, who will be sentenced on 12 November.

Argentine striker Sala and Mr Ibbotson died after their single-engine Piper Malibu plunged into the English Channel on a flight between Cardiff and Nantes in January 2019, set up by Henderson with football agent William “Willie” McKay.

The footballer was involved in a £15m transfer to Cardiff City from Nantes and was travelling between the two cities at the time of his death.

The court heard how Ibbotson, who regularly flew for Henderson, did not hold a commercial pilot’s licence, a qualification to fly at night, and his rating to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu had expired.

Just moments after finding out the plane had gone down, Henderson texted a number of people telling them to stay silent, warning it would “open a can of worms”, the jury was told.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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