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Two facing prison over Sala mortuary footage.

Byline: joe gammie newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

TWO people have been warned they face jail after admitting accessing CCTV footage of the post-mortem examination of footballer Emiliano Sala.

Sala, 28, had just signed for Cardiff City when the plane he was travelling in crashed into the English Channel, north of Guernsey, on January 21.

His body was recovered on February 6 and a post-mortem examination took place at Bournemouth Mortuary the following day.

Sherry Bray, 49, and Christopher Ashford, 62, appeared at Swindon Crown Court yesterday where they admitted accessing CCTV footage of Sala's post-mortem examination.

Ashford, of Calne, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between February 9 and 11 this year.

Bray, of Corsham, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between April last year and February this year.

She also admitted perverting the course of public justice by instructing Ashford to "delete your pics" on February 12, and the next day deleting the post-mortem cameras from the live feed camera facility and deleting the post-mortem image of Sala from her mobile phone.

Judge Peter Crabtree warned the pair that the starting point for sentence was custody.

He added: "The starting point is custody undoubtably in this case, it's extremely serious."

Two of the securing unauthorised access to computer material charges against Bray relate to her operating the CCTV equipment at Bournemouth Mortuary to access the post-mortem examination of Sala in February.

The third is in connection with her using the CCTV equipment on April 24 last year to play the postmortem examination of Andrew Victor Latcham.

The pair were released on bail to appear at the same court on September 20.

Wiltshire Police said Bray was the director of a CCTV company in Chippenham which held the out-of-hours contract to monitor the cameras at the mortuary in Bournemouth and that Ashford was an employee.

It said an investigation was launched after a graphic image of Sala's post-mortem examination was spotted circulating on social media, and this led to the CCTV company's offices being searched.

The inquiry found that both Bray and Ashford had illegally accessed the CCTV of the postmortem, and that Bray had taken photographs of the footage on her mobile phone and sent a picture to another person using Facebook Messenger, the force added.

Evidence from Bray's phone also revealed that she had taken a picture in the same mortuary of the body of Mr Latcham, who had died in non-suspicious circumstances in Dorset, Wiltshire Police added.

Detective Inspector Gemma Vinton said: "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."

CAPTION(S):

Christopher Ashford, 62, and, right, Sherry Bray, 49

Emiliano Sala died in January

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 10, 2019
Words:501
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