A Calne man and a woman from Corsham who were accused of leaking mortuary CCTV footage of footballer, Emiliano Sala's post-mortem have appeared before Swindon Magistrates Court this morning.
Christopher Ashford, 62 of Page Close in Calne and Sherry Bray, 48 of Charles Street in Corsham are accused of illegally obtaining and replaying CCTV footage of the Emiliano Sala's post-mortem at Bournemouth Mortuary.
The Premier League footballer died in a plane crash earlier this year on the way to his new club Cardiff.
Mr Ashford allegedly watched the video footage six times in 48 hours.
Ms Bray is accused of watching the post-mortem live on 7th February then distributing an image of Sala. She has also been charged with illegally accessing the CCTV footage of the post-mortem of a pensioner from Dorset whose body was found in a river in April last year. Bray is also accused of perverting the course of justice by deleting the photos from her mobile phone and instructing Mr Ashford to do the same.
No pleas were entered today, the couple spoke only to confirm their names and addresses. They have been bailed to appear on August 9th for a plea and trial preparation hearing.
A statement released by Wiltshire Police in April said:
'On February 7 2019, a post-mortem examination of Emiliano Sala was conducted at Holly Tree Lodge Mortuary in Dorset.
On February 13, Dorset Police became aware of an image on Twitter purporting to show the post-mortem of Emiliano, and an investigation was launched.
The image had been swiftly removed by Twitter, but unfortunately it had been circulated extensively on various social media sites by this time.
As part of the enquiries by Dorset Police, a warrant was obtained for an address in Wiltshire and, on February 18, this warrant was executed by officers from the Digital Investigations & Intelligence Unit within Wiltshire Police.
A 48-year-old woman from Corsham was arrested at the scene on suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material (an offence under the Computer Misuse Act) and malicious communications, and is currently released on conditional bail.
As the police investigation continued, a 62-year-old man from Calne was also arrested on suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material, and is currently released under investigation.
Wiltshire Police have been liaising with Dorset Police, the HM Coroner for Dorset, Bournemouth Council (now BCP Council) and the Holly Tree Lodge Mortuary as enquiries progressed. Emiliano's family have also been kept informed throughout this investigation.
"There is no evidence to suggest a break-in at the mortuary, and no evidence to suggest that any staff from the mortuary, or indeed any other council employees, are involved in any wrongdoing.'