The Man Who Organised Emiliano Sala's Flight Has Been Sentenced
The person who organised the flight that footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died on, in January 2019, has been jailed for 18 months.
Sala was flying from France to Cardiff, following his move from Nantes to Cardiff City in the January transfer window, when the plane carrying the two men crashed in the Channel.
David Henderson, aged 67, was the man who organised Sala's flight from Cardiff to Nantes and the return journey two days later, after the player had said goodbye to his former teammates, which the plane crashed.
The man from Yorkshire was arrested in June of the same year and last month was found guilty of recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft.
On Friday he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, after also admitted to a charge of trying to arrange a flight for a passenger without permission or authorisation.
Henderson was originally supposed to be the pilot on the flights but was on holiday in Paris, with his wife, at the time and so asked Ibbotson to take his place.
The court heard that Ibbotson had flown for Henderson previously but did not hold a commercial licence for carrying passengers, nor was he able to fly at night.
His rating to fly the aircraft that crashed on that night had also expired, meaning there were three reasons Henderson should not have got Ibbotson to fly the plane.
The judge, Mr Justice Foxton, said the guilty man had shown "a cavalier attitude" and not kept even the most 'basic of records.'
Foxton added that Henderson had broken Civil Aviation Authority regulations "for reason of profit", and was "reckless, not merely negligent".
During the trial, the jury were told that Henderson had texted a number of people not to say anything about his involvement, telling them it would 'open a can of worms.'
He was also told not to allow Mr Ibbotson to fly the aircraft again after a previous outing.
Sala had already agreed a £15 million move from Ligue 1 to Cardiff, with the then Premier League side hoping signing the striker would help keep them in the top tier.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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