British Airways Payout To African Children 'abused' By Its Pilot

British Airways Payout To African Children 'abused' By Its Pilot

British Airways has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to children in Africa who were allegedly molested by one of its pilots.

First Officer Simon Wood, 54, took his own life after being charged with child abuse offences between 2001 and 2013.

Almost 40 children and young adults were said to have been assaulted by Mr Wood during stopovers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Lawyers acting on their behalf argued BA bore legal responsibility - something the company refuted.

Simon Wood, was found dead in August 2013

Mr Wood, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, had been due to appear in court to face separate charges of indecent assault on an eight-year-old girl and possessing indecent images of children but was found dead in August 2013.

Nicola Marshall, head of the international abuse team at Leigh Day, said: "For three years we have been fighting for compensation for these young girls whose childhoods were destroyed by the sexual abuse they were subjected to by Simon Wood, a British Airways pilot.

"Now that British Airways has agreed to compensate our clients, a decision which we welcome, these girls will be able to complete their education, which for many was seriously disrupted because of the abuse.

"They will also be able to access therapeutic treatment to help relieve the psychological pain that has resulted from the abuse."

The compensation figure is yet to be disclosed.

“The allegations against Simon Wood have been shocking and horrifying. Though we do not bear any legal responsibility for Simon Wood's actions, we recognise the impact they had on his victims and the distress and suffering they caused. This recognition is reflected in the agreement we have made with the victims' representatives.” – BRITISH AIRWAY

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