CCTV firm manager , Sherry Bray, 49, and Christopher Ashford, 62, have been jailed for illegally accessing footage from inside the morgue in Bournemouth of Emiliano Sala’s post-mortem examination.
Bray admitted a series of computer misuse offences and perverting the course of justice last month, while colleague Ashford also pleaded guilty to the computer matters.
Judge Peter Crabtree jailed company director Bray for 14 months and employee Ashford for five months imprisonment.
The court heard Bray, the director of Camera Security Services Limited in Chippenham, and her employee Ashford accessed footage of the procedure being carried out on Sala.
Judge Peter Crabtree told them: “You were both driven by morbid curiosity. You have both abused your positions in quite an appalling way.”
You both knew it would be a gross intrusion on privacy and respect for the deceased and cause considerable distress to his family if they became aware of that’.
“You have both accepted that your deliberate accessing of the computer system, in your case, Ms Bray, to watch the autopsy of Emiliano Sala ‘live’, and in both of your cases to replay the autopsy using the playback facility was, in reality, unauthorised. watching the autopsies you have, and in taking the photographs and screenshots you did.”
“You both well appreciated that there could have been no justification based on any ‘security’ grounds for doing so.
Bray sent a screenshot to her youngest daughter, while Ashford let a friend photograph the screenshot he had taken.
After realising that police were investigating, Bray deleted the file from her phone and asked Ashford to do the same but they were arrested and prosecuted with three counts of computer misuse.
On Friday Romina Sala said in a victim impact statement read to the court that should could not forget seeing the image of her brother’s body for the first time on Instagram.
Sala’s sister Romina branded the pair “wicked and evil” I have seen photos of Emiliano’s body leaked on Instagram, and I cannot believe there are people so wicked and evil who could do that.
Romina added, I tried to keep images off social networks. My mother could not see those horrible photos. I was sad as people were making jokes about it.
I phoned Emiliano’s agent and told him what was circulating on the internet. I called our brother, Dario, and he did not want to see the photos.
“I’ll never erase the images from my head. My brother and mother can never forget about this. It’s hard for me to live with this image.”
On 18 February, officers investigated Camera Security Services (CSS) in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and found the post-mortem test in Bournemouth had been viewed live on 7 February and then played back twice on 8 February.
Argentine striker Sala had just signed for Cardiff City from Nantes when the plane he was travelling in from France crashed into the Channel, north of Guernsey, on 21 January. The 28-year-old’s body was recovered on 6 February.