Jury withdraws in trial against businessman accused of endangering the plane that killed Emiliano Sala
The jury in the trial of David Henderson, who is accused of violating safety rules in the plane crash that killed Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, is withdrawing to consider their verdict.
- The 67-year-old David Henderson trial jury was sent to consider his verdict.
- Henderson was accused of violating safety rules for the plane crash that killed soccer player Emiliano Sala in 2019
- Sala died along with pilot David Ibbotson when he signed for Cardiff City
- Henderson arranged the flight with Willie McKay, the transfer agent.
The jury in the trial of a businessman accused of violating safety rules for a plane crash that killed Emiliano Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, was sent to consider their verdict.
The Civil Aviation Authority brought the case in Cardiff Crown Court against aircraft operator David Henderson, 67, accused of endangering the safety of an aircraft.
Henderson arranged the flight with agent Willie McKay, who was working to secure Sala’s transfer to Cardiff from Nantes.
The 28-year-old footballer and pilot Ibbotson died when the private plane they were flying in fell into the English Channel in January 2019.
The jury for the trial of David Henderson, who is accused of violating safety rules for a plane crash that killed Emiliano Sala, was sent to consider his verdict.
Sala holds up a Cardiff City jersey after agreeing to join for £ 15 million in January 2019
Henderson claimed that agent William ‘Willie’ McKay had a ‘concern’ about getting a pilot to transport Sala between the Welsh city and Nantes in France.
Sala was involved in a multi-million dollar transfer to Cardiff City FC from Nantes FC and was traveling between the two clubs at the time of his death.
The jury previously heard that Willie McKay and Henderson were in a working relationship, and Mr. McKay contacted him to charter the plane.
Henderson, who was also a pilot, was not available to fly the plane because he was on vacation in Paris with his wife.
Ibbotson, whom Henderson hired in his place, did not have a commercial pilot license, could not fly at night, and had an expired rating to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft.
The Cardiff Crown Court was told that Agent William ‘Willie’ McKay had a ‘concern’ about getting a pilot to transport Sala between Cardiff and Nantes in France.
During Monday’s hearing, Stephen Spence, representing the defense, asked his client if he thought McKay would have cared if Henderson had told him about Ibbotson’s lack of qualifications.
Henderson said: ‘His concern was getting where he wanted to go. I don’t know if he wouldn’t have cared, but like I say, his concern was to get a pilot. I think I would have gone ahead with the flight anyway.
On Friday, the prosecution, led by Martin Goudie QC, asked Henderson if he thought McKay and Sala had a right to know whether or not the pilot flying the plane was qualified.
And he accused Henderson of wearing a “cowboy suit” after admitting that he did not keep basic information about the pilots he employed.
The prosecutor alleged that Henderson had been “reckless and negligent” in allowing Ibbotson to fly, but Henderson claims that he was confident that Ibbotson would not fly if he lacked certification.