Man being prosecuted over death of Emiliano Sala

15 October 2020, 17:22 | Updated: 15 October 2020, 18:09

Emiliano Sala died when his aircraft came down in the English Channel in January last year
Emiliano Sala died when his aircraft came down in the English Channel in January last year. Picture: PA
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A 66-year-old-man is being prosecuted over the crash which killed footballer Emiliano Sala.

David Henderson, of East Riding of Yorkshire, will appear in court later this month charged with two offences under the Air Navigation Order.

He is accused of acting in a "reckless/negligent" manner, and being involved in the commercial use of the plane involved in the crash.

CAA director Richard Stephenson said: "The UK Civil Aviation Authority has commenced a prosecution of David Henderson for offences associated with the fatal light aircraft accident over the English Channel in January 2019.

Read more: Emiliano Sala plane crash: Pilot 'lost control while turning too fast to avoid bad weather'

"It will be inappropriate for the CAA to say anything further until the case is concluded."

Mr Henderson has been bailed and will appear at Cardiff Crown Court on 26 October.

Cardiff City player Mr Sala and his pilot died when the aircraft came down in the English Channel in January last year.

His body was recovered the following month, but the body of the pilot, David Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, Lincolnshire, has not been found.

The plane crashed over the English Channel and killed Emiliano Sala and his pilot
The plane crashed over the English Channel and killed Emiliano Sala and his pilot. Picture: PA Images

Daniel Machover of law firm Hickman and Rose - which is representing the footballer's mother, Mercedes Taffarel, said: "Mercedes Taffarel welcomes the prosecution of David Henderson, but is disappointed that it has today resulted in what may be a further significant delay to the inquest into Emiliano's death.

"This coming January will mark two years since the plane Emiliano was travelling in crashed into the English Channel.

"His mother remains desperate to know the full truth about how this could have been allowed to happen, and urges the CAA to proceed with its criminal prosecution as swiftly as possible, so an inquest can be held to establish this, and that similar deaths are prevented."

Read more: Cardiff City Football Club file evidence to French prosecutors over Emiliano Sala death

Sala was involved in a multimillion-pound transfer from FC Nantes in France to Cardiff City.

A report into the crash by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found that neither Mr Ibbotson nor the plane were licensed for the flight to operate commercially, but evidence showed he was to be paid a fee.

Unlicensed charter flight operations - known as grey charters - generally incur lower operating costs.

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