David Henderson is jailed for 18 months for organising doomed flight that crashed and killed footballer Emiliano Sala

David Henderson is jailed for 18 months for organising doomed flight that crashed and killed footballer Emiliano Sala



Businessman, David Henderson who organised the doomed flight that crashed and killed footballer Emiliano Sala has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.



Sala, 28 and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, died when the small plane they were flying in plunged into the English Channel in January 2019 as he was on his way to sign for Cardiff.


David Henderson, 67, of Hotham in the East Riding of Yorkshire, was a pilot himself but could not fly the plane because he was on holiday in Paris with his wife.


So he hired Mr Ibbotson, even though Ibbotson did not have a commercial pilot's licence, could not fly at night, and had an expired rating to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft.


Sala was involved in a £15 million transfer to Cardiff City from Nantes FC, and was travelling between the two cities when he died.


Justice Foxton sentenced Henderson to 18 months in prison for endangering an aircraft, with a three-month sentence, to run concurrently, for attempting to discharge a passenger.


Justice Foxton ruled at the start of the hearing that the victim impact statement of Sala's mother, Mercedes Taffarel, would not be read out in court after concerns were raised by Henderson's defence about its contents.


'My decision is not meant to diminish the devastating impact of the crash on Mrs Taffarel,' Mr Justice Foxton said.Latest Post
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