BREAKING: Wiltshire pair plead guilty in Emiliano Sala mortuary footage case
A WILTSHIRE pair have admitted illegally accessing CCTV of football ace Emiliano Sala’s post mortem.
Christopher Ashford, 62, of Page Close, Calne, and Sherry Bray, 48, of Charles Street, Corsham, pleaded guilty at Swindon Crown Court to illegally accessing CCTV at Bournemouth Mortuary and replaying a post-mortem of the Cardiff City ace and Dorset grandfather Andrew Latcham.
Ashford watched Emiliano Sala’s post-mortem six times over a 48 hour period.
Bray, the director of the Chippenham CCTV company that held an out-of-hours contract to monitor the cameras at the mortuary in Bournemouth.
She was said to have watched the post-mortem live on February 7 and distributing an image of Sala from the investigation.
Prosecutors say she perverted the course of justice by deleting pictures of the football player from her phone and instructing Ashford to “delete the pics”.
She was charged with illegally accessing mortuary CCTV to watch a post-mortem of Blandford pensioner Andrew Latcham, whose body was found in a Dorset river in April last year.
Both Bray and Ashford had illegally accessed the CCTV of the post-mortem. Bray had taken photographs of the footage on her mobile phone.
She then sent a picture to another person using Facebook Messenger and subsequently attempted to hide evidence, encouraging Ashford to delete pictures he had taken.
Det Insp Gemma Vinton, from IIU, said: “This is the most high-profile investigation that our recently-formed unit has carried out. I would like to commend the team of specialist investigators for their hard work and dedication.
“This has been a case which has attracted significant global media interest, and has involved detailed forensic searches of a large number of digital devices, as well as regular contact with a range of stakeholders and interested parties – not least the families of our two victims, with Emiliano Sala’s family, who live in Argentina, being kept fully updated at all times.
“It has been the two families who have been at the forefront of our minds throughout the investigation; they have been significantly impacted at what was already a difficult and traumatic time for them. The actions of Bray and Ashford caused additional unnecessary distress and heartache, and I hope the families will now be able to concentrate on grieving for their loved ones.”
Argentina international Sala died in January when the plane taking him to Cardiff crashed into the English Channel.
A post-mortem was carried out at Holly Tree Lodge Mortuary, Dorset, on February 7. A week later, police were alerted to an image on Twitter apparently showing the dead Argentinian footballer.
The image was removed from Twitter, but has since been shared to other social media sites.
The investigation is the first to be brought before the courts by Wiltshire Police’s digital investigation unit, established last summer
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