British Airways pays pilot Simon Wood Africa abuse victims

Simon Wood Image copyright PA
Image caption Simon Wood was found dead after being charged with sexually abusing children

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

Simon Wood, 54, from Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, took his own life in August 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, which denies liability, called the accusations "shocking and horrifying".

Live: British Airways recognises 'impact'

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 also take them out.

Mr Wood had been charged with one count of indecently assaulting a girl under 16, two counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one count of possessing indecent images of a child.

'Distress and suffering'

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.

In a statement, BA said: "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."

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