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Emiliano Sala: Businessman who organised fatal flight for footballer jailed for 18 months

The businessman who organised a flight that crashed, killing footballer Emiliano Sala, has been jailed for 18 months for endangering the safety of an aircraft.

David Henderson, 67, was convicted by a majority verdict of 10 to two at Cardiff Crown Court last month.

The plane carrying 28-year-old Sala crashed into the English Channel on the evening of 21 January 2019, killing the striker and pilot David Ibbotson, 59.

The player had been travelling to his new club, Cardiff City.

Henderson, a father-of-three and former RAF officer, had arranged the flight with football agent William ‘Willie’ McKay.

He had asked Mr Ibbotson to fly the plane as he was away on holiday in Paris with his wife.

Mr Ibbotson, who regularly flew for him, did not hold a commercial pilot’s licence, a qualification to fly at night, and his rating to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu had expired.

Just moments after finding out the plane had gone down, Henderson texted a number of people telling them to stay silent – warning it would “open a can of worms”.

He admitted in court he feared an investigation into his business dealings.

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