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Two to be sentenced for Emiliano Sala mortuary footage

A tribute at Cardiff City Stadium for Emiliano Sala. Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

A CCTV company director and her employee are to be sentenced for illegally accessing footage of footballer Emiliano Sala’s body in the mortuary.

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

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

Sherry Bray leaving Swindon Magistrates’ Court. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Sherry Bray, 49, the director of Camera Security Services Limited in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and her employee Christopher Ashford, 62, accessed footage of the procedure being conducted on Mr Sala.

They replayed the clip before Bray took a picture of it on her mobile phone and sent it to a family member on Facebook Messenger, leading to it being widely shared on social media.

After realising that police were investigating, Bray deleted the file from her phone and asked Ashford to do the same.

Evidence from Bray’s phone also revealed that she had taken a picture of another body in the mortuary, a man called Andrew Latchem who had previously died in non-suspicious circumstances.

Christopher Ashford leaving Swindon Magistrates’ Court. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Bray, of Corsham, and Ashford, of Calne, each admitted three counts of computer misuse at Swindon Crown Court in August.

Bray also admitted perverting the course of justice by instructing Ashford to “delete your pics”, deleting the post-mortem cameras from the live feed camera facility and deleting the mortuary image of Mr Sala from her phone.

Speaking after the guilty pleas, Detective Inspector Gemma Vinton, of Wiltshire Police, said Mr Sala’s family, who live in Argentina, had been kept fully updated.

She said they had been “significantly impacted at what was already a difficult and traumatic time for them”.

Anthony Johns, of the Crown Prosecution Service, described the actions of Bray and Ashford as “truly appalling”.