Airline agrees to pay sexual abuse victims in E. Africa

baLONDON. — British Airways (BA) has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money to children who were sexually abused by one of its pilots in East Africa. Simon Wood (54), of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, took his own life in 2013 after he was accused of sexually assaulting children.

He was hit by a train 11 days before he was due to appear in a UK court charged with abuse in Africa and the UK.

BA agreed to the payment but has denied liability.

Lawyers claimed the airline is responsible because the alleged victims were assaulted by Mr Wood while he was on stopovers.

A mother of two of the alleged victims, aged nine and 16, said Mr Wood took them all to the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi during stopovers in Kenya and showered her children with gifts. The woman said he would bathe her children and others and take them out. Mr Wood, who died on August 18, 2013, had been charged with one count of indecent assault of a girl under 16, two counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one count of possessing indecent images of a child.

An inquest in July 2014 ruled that he had taken his own life following the accusations, which included allegations that he abused children in Africa while doing voluntary work for the airline.

In Africa, he allegedly molested girls between the ages of five and 13 in schools and orphanages in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania between 2003 and 2013, law firm Leigh Day said in July 2014. — BBC.

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