British Airways to Face Lawsuit on Pilot’s Child Abuse Charges

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By Kalyan Kumar | July 31, 2014 9:17 AM EST

Leading airline major British Airways will be sued for damages for the alleged child abuse offences of one of its pilots in African schools and orphanages. A law firm in London has taken up the case on behalf of the allegedly abused children.

REUTERS/Louafi Larbi
An Air Algerie Airways plane prepares to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers July 24, 2014. An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

The law firm will be holding the airline responsible for the assault by its First Officer Simon Wood during his stopovers. The pilot died in a train mishap last year.

The charges against Wood ranges from indecent assault of a girl under 16, making indecent photographs of a child and possessing indecent images of a child.

The Airways expressed shock and said it was horrified by the allegations.

It was in 2002 that Wood and 20 crew members from two BA flights spent their holidays with Kenyan youngsters. They delivered presents, medicines and donations to the orphanage. At that time, Wood had they played, sang and entertained the children.

Giving the details, British law firm Leigh Day said Wood molested many youngsters during his stopovers in African states of Kenya and Tanzania.

Lawyer Nichola Marshall told Metro that the abuse of official power has come in the case as his employment with the airline and involvement with the airline's community work created the circumstances.

It was noted that the schools and orphanages that the clients attended received charitable donations from the airline. In all these Wood played a key role in terms of administering donations on behalf of the Airways.

The law firm will be meeting other possible victims in Kenya and Uganda in the coming weeks.

Wood was arrested for an indecent assault allegation in 2001 but was let off as prosecutors cited lack of evidence to charge him. The case was reopened after receiving new details and further evidence of indecent images.

A spokesman of the Airline said they were shocked and horrified to hear allegations against Simon Wood. It offered sympathies for the victims and noted that the conduct of one person had maligned thousands of decent people engaged in charitable works on a regular basis.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Louafi Larbi / )
An Air Algerie Airways plane prepares to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers July 24, 2014. An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi
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