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Pair in court over Sala mortuary photos

Pair in court over Sala mortuary photos

Friday 12 July 2019

Pair in court over Sala mortuary photos


Two people have appeared in court charged with accessing CCTV footage of the post-mortem examination of footballer Emiliano Sala.

Sala, 28, had just signed for Cardiff City when the plane he was travelling in crashed into the English Channel, near Alderney, on January 21.

His body was recovered on February 6 and a post-mortem examination took place at Bournemouth Mortuary the following day.

Wiltshire Police later confirmed they were investigating an image on social media that purported to show Sala’s remains during that examination.

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Pictured: Emiliano Sala and pilot Dave Ibbotson were flying over the Channel Islands when their plane went missing. Mr Ibbotson remains missing. 

On Wednesday, Sherry Bray, 48, and Christopher Ashford, 62, appeared before Swindon Magistrates’ Court charged in connection with the force’s investigation.

Ashford, of Calne, faces six charges of causing a computer to perform a function to secure “unauthorised access” to a program or data, contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

Charges allege he “operated the closed circuit television equipment at the Bournemouth Mortuary and thereby caused the post-mortem of Emiliano Sala to be replayed by using the play-back facility”.

He is alleged to have done so on February 9 at 9.40pm and 11.23pm, on February 10 at 2.32am and 6.58am, and on February 11 at 1.26am and 9.35pm.

Bray, of Corsham, is charged with three counts of causing a computer to perform a function to secure “unauthorised access” to a program or data, contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

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Pictured: The plane wreckage captured underwater.

Charges allege she “operated the closed circuit television equipment at the Bournemouth Mortuary and thereby caused the post-mortem of Emiliano Sala to be recorded by using the live view camera facility” on February 7.

She is charged with sending an “offensive/indecent/obscene/menacing message” of Sala taken from that examination the same day, contrary to the Communications Act 2003.

Bray is accused of operating the CCTV equipment to cause the post-mortem examination to be replayed on February 8.

It is alleged she perverted the course of public justice by instructing Ashford to “delete your pics” on February 12 and deleted the post-mortem cameras at the Bournemouth Mortuary from the live feed camera facility the following day.

She is alleged to have deleted the post-mortem image of Sala from her mobile phone on February 13, which “had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice”.

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Pictured: The final movements of the plane. (AAIB)

Charges allege Bray also used the CCTV equipment to play the post-mortem examination of another man, Andrew Victor Latcham, on April 24 last year.

Neither Ashford or Bray entered pleas in relation to the charges against them.

Dr David Whetham, chair of the bench, adjourned the case for a hearing at Swindon Crown Court on August 9.

“You are going to be released on unconditional bail until that point,” he told the defendants.

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