Two people have been warned they face jail after admitting accessing CCTV footage of Emiliano Sala’s post-mortem examination.
The 28-year-old footballer had just signed for Cardiff City when the private plane he was travelling in crashed into the English Channel north of Guernsey on 21 January.
His body was recovered from the wreckage of the plane on 6 February and a post-mortem examination was carried out the following day at Bournemouth Mortuary.
A police investigation was launched after an image purporting to show Sala’s body was widely circulated on social media.
It was understood to show his torso, with a distinctive tattoo on his arm, mid-examination.
Sherry Bray, 49, and Christopher Ashford, 62, appeared at Swindon Crown Court on Friday where they admitted accessing CCTV footage of Sala’s post-mortem examination.
Ashford, of Calne, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between 9 and 11 February this year.
Bray, of Corsham, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between April last year and February this year.
Two of these related to her using using the CCTV equipment at Bournemouth Mortuary to access the post-mortem examination of Sala in February, while the third related to the autopsy of another person Andrew Latcham.
Bray also admitted perverting the course of public justice by instructing Ashford to “delete your pics” on 12 February, and the next day deleting the post-mortem cameras from the live feed camera facility and deleting the post-mortem image of Sala from her mobile phone.
Judge Peter Crabtree warned the pair both faced jail.
“The starting point is custody undoubtably in this case, it’s extremely serious,” he said.
Bray and Ashford were both released on bail to appear at the same court on 20 September.
Speaking about their crimes, Detective Inspector Gemma Vinton of Wiltshire Police said: “They have been very distressing for the families involved at what is already a traumatic time when people are grieving for their relatives.”