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Girls accuse BA of alleged abuse by pilot

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Pilot hit by train two weeks before due in court

Girls and young women are alleging they were sexually abused by a British Airways pilot in African schools and orphanages. The 16 alleged victims, aged between eight and 20, now want to sue the airline, a law firm representing them says.

The lawyers argue that BA must be held responsible for the actions of First Officer Simon Wood who allegedly carried out the crimes during stopovers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Wood, 54, was killed a year ago after being hit by a train, two weeks before he was due in court on charges of indecent assault and making indecent photos of a child.

“We allege that Wood was able to abuse the victims, by reason of his employment with the airline, in particular through his involvement with the airline’s community relations work,” said Nichola Marshall, a lawyer at Leigh Day. “The schools and orphanages that our clients attended were all in receipt of charitable donations from the airline, and Wood played a key role in administering those donations, on behalf of British Airways.”

BA said in a statement: “We were shocked and horrified to hear the allegations against Simon Wood, which appear to relate to his involvement in child-related activities entirely outside the scope of his employment with British Airways.”

Reuters

[pictured: British Airways Boeing 747; courtesy oneworld]

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