Emiliano Sala: David Henderson pleads guilty to charge over plane crash which killed footballer

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Argentine footballer died in 2019 when the light aircraft carring him crashed near Guernsey  (AFP/Getty Images)
Argentine footballer died in 2019 when the light aircraft carring him crashed near Guernsey (AFP/Getty Images)

A man has pleaded guilty to a charge relating to the flight in which footballer Emiliano Sala died.

David Henderson, 66, admitted attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorisation during a pre-trial appearance at Cardiff Crown Court.

Mr Henderson, of Hotham in the East Riding of Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to the charge when he asked to be rearraigned on the eve of his trial.

A trial on a further charge of endangering the safety of an aircraft will begin on Tuesday afternoon. The charges have been brought by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Jurors were selected on Monday after confirming they were not Cardiff City FC supporters and did not regularly attend matches.

The plane carrying 28-year-old Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, crashed north of Guernsey in January 2019.

The single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft was bringing the striker to Wales as he was prepared to join Cardiff from the French club Nantes in a £15m transfer.

Earlier this year Sala’s family announced they would launch legal action against Cardiff.

However, the civil case will have to wait until the conclusion of an inquest into the striker’s death, which itself cannot take place until Mr Henderson’s trial is over.

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