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Two jailed over online image of footballer's body

Monday September 23 2019

Nantes' French defender Nicolas Pallois (Centre left) Dario Sala (left) brother of late Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and Horacio Sala (Right back) his father, along with other relatives and friends, carry the coffin as they leave Club Atletico y Deportivo San Martin during the funeral service in Progreso, Santa Fe, Argentina on February 16, 2019. PHOTO | JUAN MABROMATA |

Nantes' French defender Nicolas Pallois (Centre left) Dario Sala (left) brother of late Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and Horacio Sala (Right back) his father, along with other relatives and friends, carry the coffin as they leave Club Atletico y Deportivo San Martin during the funeral service in Progreso, Santa Fe, Argentina on February 16, 2019. PHOTO | JUAN MABROMATA |  AFP

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By AFP
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LONDON

Two people were jailed on Monday for illegally accessing CCTV footage of the post-mortem of footballer Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane crash in January, and posting images online.

CCTV company director Sherry Bray, 49, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of computer misuse and perverting the course of justice.

Her employee Christopher Ashford, 62, was jailed for five months after pleading guilty to three counts of computer misuse.

Sala's plane went down in the English Channel as he flew to Cardiff on January 21, two days after the 28-year-old had completed his transfer from French side Nantes to the Welsh club.

The footballer's sister Romina Sala said in a statement that the actions were "wicked and evil", explaining she found out about the pictures when they appeared on Instagram.

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"I'll never erase those images from my head," she said.

"My brother and mother can never forget about this. It's hard for me to live with this image."

The jailed pair illegally accessed the CCTV footage of the post-mortem, which took place at a mortuary in Bournemouth, southern England, on February 7.

Bray sent a message to Ashford before his night-shift, reading: "There's a nice one on the table for you to watch when you're next in."

Both replayed the clip, with Bray taking a picture of it on her mobile phone and sending it to her daughter, before it was widely shared on social media, Swindon Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Robert Welling said Bray and members of her staff "would watch as and when autopsies were on the mortuary CCTV footage".

The body of the only other person on board the small Piper PA-46 Malibu, 59-year-old British pilot David Ibbotson, has never been found.

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