Dead BA pilot Simon Wood faced UK and Africa child abuse claims

Simon Wood Simon Wood was found dead after being charged with child abuse offences

A British Airways pilot who was found dead was accused of child abuse offences in the UK and faced similar allegations in Africa, it is claimed.

Simon Wood, 54, of Hertfordshire - who was hit by a train last month - allegedly molested children in Kenya.

Mr Wood had been due to appear at Southwark Crown Court last Friday.

A law firm representing 12 children in Kenya may take legal action against the airline, which said it was "shocked and horrified" by the allegations.

British Airways said it was only made aware of the child abuse charges in July after receiving an anonymous letter.

The airline contacted Scotland Yard after BA's own investigation team uncovered information in Kenya which gave the company "cause for concern", it said.

Orphanage holiday

Mr Wood, who died on 18 August, had faced 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, Scotland Yard said.

He had taken part in a company-backed charity event at an orphanage in Kenya in 2002.

Martyn Day, from legal firm Leigh Day which is representing a number of Kenyan children, said: "We are currently investigating how Mr Wood was allowed to have such access to these Kenyan children and also the extent of the allegations against Mr Wood in relation to his actions in the UK."

At Easter 2002, Mr Wood was among 20 crew members from two BA flights who volunteered to spend the holiday period with the Kenyan youngsters, showering the orphanage with presents, medicines and donations.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned at Hertfordshire Coroner's Court, last Wednesday.

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