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Pair appear in Swindon court over Sala post-mortem footage

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TWO people have appeared in court charged with accessing CCTV footage of the post-mortem examination of footballer Emiliano Sala.

Sherry Bray, 48, and Christopher Ashford, 62, leave Swindon Magistrates’ Court where they where summoned to appear over an image that allegedly showed the remains of footballer Emiliano Sala at the Holly Tree Lodge mortuary in Bournemouth. (Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire)

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

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

Wiltshire Police later confirmed they were investigating an image on social media that purported to show Sala’s remains during that examination.

Yesterday Sherry Bray, 48, and Christopher Ashford, 62, appeared before Swindon Magistrates’ Court charged in connection with the investigation.

Mr Ashford, of Calne, faces six charges of causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to a program or data.

Charges allege he operated the closed circuit television equipment at the mortuary and thereby caused the post-mortem of Emiliano Sala to be replayed by using the play-back facility.

He is alleged to have done so on 9 February at 9.40pm and 11.23pm, on 10 February at 2.32am and 6.58am, and on 11 February at 1.26am and 9.35pm.

Ms Bray, of Corsham, is charged with three counts of causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to a program or data.

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Charges allege she operated the closed circuit television equipment at the Bournemouth mortuary and thereby caused the post-mortem of Emiliano Sala to be recorded by using the live view camera facility on 7 February.

She is charged with sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message of Sala taken from that examination the same day.

Ms Bray is also accused of operating the CCTV equipment to cause the post-mortem examination to be replayed on 8 February.

It is alleged she perverted the course of public justice by instructing Mr Ashford to ‘delete your pics’ on 12 February and deleted the post-mortem cameras at the Bournemouth mortuary from the live feed camera facility the following day.

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She is alleged to have deleted the post-mortem image of Sala from her mobile phone on 13 February, which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice.

Charges allege Ms Bray also used the CCTV equipment to play the post-mortem examination of another man, Andrew Victor Latcham, on 24 April last year.

Neither Mr Ashford nor Ms Bray entered pleas in relation to the charges against them. They were granted unconditional bail and are due to appear before Swindon Crown Court on 9 August.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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