Businessman who organised the 2019 flight that killed Argentine footballer, Emiliano Sala in a crash in the English Channel has on Friday been sentenced to 18 months in jail for endangering the safety of an aircraft.
David Henderson, 67, was convicted by a jury in Cardiff for endangering the safety of an aircraft over the death of the 28-year-old striker.
He will also concurrently serve a three-month sentence for attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorization.
Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, died when the small plane they were flying in plunged into the English Channel in January 2019.
The player had just signed for Cardiff City, who were then in the Premier League, for a club-record £15 million (18 million euros, $20 million) from French side Nantes, and was travelling between the two cities when he died.
David Henderson 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.
Following his death, a British air accident investigation report published in March last year concluded Ibbotson was not licensed to fly the plane or to fly at night.
It assessed that he lost control and flew too fast as he tried to avoid bad weather and that both he and Sala were affected by carbon monoxide poisoning before the crash.
Sala’s body was recovered from the seabed in February 2019 but that of Ibbotson was never found.