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BA pilot molested hundreds of children, UK report says

September 4, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A British Airways pilot abused his position to molest hundreds of vulnerable young girls at African orphanages under the guise of doing charity work, according to British reports.

The airline, which says it is shocked and horrified by the revelations, now faces the prospect of major lawsuits brought by victims. GOOGLE_DISPLAY_WEB_ADS

Britain’s mass-circulation Daily Mail disclosed the scandal, the latest in a series of sex and paedophilia shocks to confront the British public in recent months.

The pilot involved was First Officer Simon Wood, 54, who allegedly dressed in a bogus pilot’s uniform (though he was a genuine first officer, or co-pilot) to claim falsely that he was carrying out official charity work for the airline. It was apparently a ploy so that he could molest young girls during stopovers in Africa.

Wood killed himself last week. After appearing in a court in London last month charged with the offences, he threw himself under a train. Charges were then dropped.

Prosecutor Peter Zinner said in court: “The prosecution say that Mr Wood was a deeply depraved and corrupt individual who had used his ability to fly to other parts of the world to commit sexual offences against children.”

Prosecution sources consider that the pilot could turn out to have been one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

Dressed in an imitation captain’s uniform, Wood is said to have used BA-branded toys and colouring books to lure children out on day trips “and to five-star hotels used by the airline” where he would abuse them, the paper said.

It said Wood abused children for 15 years and his depredations stopped only after he was charged with separate child sex offences in the UK. According to the paper, BA is now facing “a hugely damaging lawsuit brought by his victims, who say the company failed to protect them from his horrific abuse”.

Wood worked for BA for 16 years. His preference for routes in and out of East Africa was reportedly so he could use his stays there to prey on vulnerable children in the slums, often in Kenya.

Police started investigating Wood in 2000 after he was accused of indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl on a charity trip in the UK. Authorities dropped that charge because of insufficient evidence.

Written by : Peter Needham

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