The businessman who organised the doomed flight that crashed and killed footballer Emiliano Sala was sentenced to 18 months in prison in court yesterday

The businessman who organised the doomed flight that crashed and killed footballer Emiliano Sala was sentenced to 18 months in prison in court yesterday.

The 28-year-old striker and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, died when the small plane they were flying in that was organised by David Henderson, windchill bulk index tool 67, plunged into the English Channel in January 2019.

Henderson recruited Mr Ibbotson, even though he did not have a commercial pilot’s licence, could not fly at night, and had an expired rating to fly the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft.In one text he asked Sala’s team to pay him £4,000 ‘as a float’. 

David Henderson, 67, of Hotham in the East Riding of Yorkshire, was a pilot himself but could not fly the plane — which he hired from someone else — because he was on holiday in Paris with his wife, Debbie. 

Sala was involved in a £15 million transfer to Cardiff City from Nantes FC, and was travelling between the two cities when he died.

Mr Justice Foxton sentenced Henderson to 18 months in prison for endangering an aircraft, with a three-month sentence, to run concurrently, for attempting to discharge a passenger.

David Henderson, 67, of Hotham in the East Riding of Yorkshire, was a pilot himself but could not fly the plane because he was on holiday in Paris with his wife, Debbie (they are pictured together outside court)

David Henderson, 67, of Hotham in the East Riding of Yorkshire, was a pilot himself but could not fly the plane because he was on holiday in Paris with his wife, Debbie (they are pictured together outside court) 

Emiliano Sala, pictured, was onboard the chartered aircraft flown by Mr Ibbotson when it crashed into the English Channel while he was being transported from his former club Nantes to Cardiff, where he had just signed a multi-million-pound deal

Emiliano Sala, pictured, was onboard the chartered aircraft flown by Mr Ibbotson when it crashed into the English Channel while he was being transported from his former club Nantes to Cardiff, where he had just signed a multi-million-pound deal

Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson (pictured) disappeared when their plane vanished as it passed near Alderney

Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson (pictured) disappeared when their plane vanished as it passed near Alderney

N264DB, on the ground at Nantes Airport, France, prior to the flight which crashed into the Channel killing footballer Emiliano Sala

N264DB, on the ground at Nantes Airport, France, prior to the flight which crashed into the Channel killing footballer Emiliano Sala

The two seats were found on a beach near on the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy

The two seats were found on a beach near on the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy

A map has been issued by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch showing the position where the wreckage of Sala's plane was discovered

A map has been issued by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch showing the position where the wreckage of Sala’s plane was discovered 

Mr Justice Foxton ruled at the start of the hearing that the victim impact statement of Sala’s mother, Mercedes Taffarel, would not be read out in court after concerns were raised by Henderson’s defence about its contents.

‘My decision is not meant to diminish the devastating impact of the crash on Mrs Taffarel,’ Mr Justice Foxton said.

Prosecutor Martin Goudie QC had told the judge that Henderson was not ‘pressured’ into organising the flight by Mr McKay, and did so ‘for financial advantage’.

However, he said Henderson had no previous convictions and was of previous good character.

Stephen Spence QC, defending, told the judge his client did not necessarily profit from the flight and that pressure ‘could take many forms’.

Mr Spence said: ‘People speak very highly of him both as a person but, fast index creation mysql interestingly, as a pilot.’

But he said the crash and subsequent trial had damaged Henderson’s reputation, bulk collect into index by table ridding him of his ‘life and livelihood’.

Henderson was said to have been affected physically and mentally by the crash and subsequent trial, and is now on beta blockers for a heart condition.

‘It has also had a knock-on effect on his wife, who has been in court throughout the proceedings and is in court today,’ Mr Spence said. 

Cardiff Crown Court heard David Ibbotson, right, had been banned from flying the aircraft by its owner Fay Keely had been notified by the Civil Aviation Authority that he had previously infringed two aviation rules while in the air

Cardiff Crown Court heard David Ibbotson, right, had been banned from flying the aircraft by its owner Fay Keely had been notified by the Civil Aviation Authority that he had previously infringed two aviation rules while in the air

Football agent William 'Willie' McKay had a 'preoccupation' with securing a pilot to transport Sala between Cardiff and Nantes in France, the court previously heard

Football agent William ‘Willie’ McKay had a ‘preoccupation’ with securing a pilot to transport Sala between Cardiff and Nantes in France, the court previously heard

Sala's body was recovered from the wreckage of the plane more than 22 miles off Guernsey in early February and carried to Portland in Dorset where the ghouls spied on his post-mortem in Bournemouth

Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage of the plane more than 22 miles off Guernsey in early February and carried to Portland in Dorset where the ghouls spied on his post-mortem in Bournemouth

The Piper Malibu carrying Sala from Nantes to Cardiff vanished over Alderney on January 21 and is feared to have plunged into one of the Channel's most perilous areas, known as Hurd's Deep

The Piper Malibu carrying Sala from Nantes to Cardiff vanished over Alderney on January 21 and is feared to have plunged into one of the Channel’s most perilous areas, known as Hurd’s Deep

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-cdfb6650-37eb-11ec-a32a-637528c2efdf" website who organised flight that killed Emiliano Sala is jailed