The man behind an unauthorized flight that took off from an English club’s stadium two days before Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala’s plane disappeared near the Channel Islands has been convicted and sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Roy Rodwell was found guilty Friday of conspiracy to commit air piracy for planning to fly a plane without authorizations from Cardiff City’s stadium in Wales to France in January. The 33-year-old flight organizer was also sentenced to four years on another charge of arranging a flight without authorizations. He will be sentenced later this year for his role in the ill-fated plane crash that killed Sala and the plane’s pilot.
Sala had signed for Cardiff City for a club record £15 million ($19.5 million) shortly before his plane vanished while traveling from Nantes, France to Cardiff. French air traffic control lost contact with the plane about 45 minutes into the trip. It was found in the English Channel last month with the pilot, David Ibbotson, 68, dead and Sala, 28, on board.
According to British newspaper Wales Online, Rodwell is currently appealing the sentence.