British Airways are facing an enormously damaging lawsuit from victims of a BA pilot who used the cover of charity work for the airline to abuse children, mainly in Africa which was on one of his regular routes.

First Officer Simon Wood, 54, threw himself under a train at Potters Bar on August 18th, two days after being charged with indecent assault of an 8 year-old schoolgirl and possessing indecent images of children. Evidence was obtained to show that he had visited a number of paedophile websites and school uniforms were found in his car.

Police first became aware of Wood in 2000 when he was accused of indecent assault of an eight year-old girl whilst doing volunteer work for Diabetes UK, escorting a party of young children on a trip to North Yorkshire. On this occasion he was arrested but released after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled that there was insufficient evidence to charge him. Accordingly BA allowed him to keep his job, and he was allowed by charities to continue to work with young children.

Officials in Kenya told the CPS that Wood claimed to be a member of “BA’s community relations programme” and countered complaints about his behaviour by accusing staff at the African children’s homes he worked in of stealing from them, resulting in at least two members of staff being unjustly arrested.

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