Simon Woods was 54 when he took his own life in August 2013 after being accused of sexually assaulting children. The man who was from Potters Bar in Hertfordshire had been hit by a train a mere 11 days before he was due to appear at Southwark Crown court charged with abuse in both Africa and the UK. An inquest in July 2014 had conclusively 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.
The man had been a pilot with British Airways and the airline denied liability calling the accusations shocking and horrifying. They have however agreed to pay undisclosed amounts to the kids from East Africa who had been sexually abused by the pilot. Lawyers had claimed that the airline was responsible because the assaults occurred during stopovers. He had been charged with one count of indecently assaulting a girl under 16, 2 counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one charge of possessing indecent images of a child.
According to law firm, Leigh Day, in Africa, Simon wood had allegedly molested girls between the ages of 5 and 13 still in schools and some in orphanages in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda between 2003 and 2013. British Airways had said that it was only made aware of the child abuse charges in July 2013 after receiving an anonymous letter, the airline then contacted Scotland Yard after British Airways investigation team uncovered information in Kenya which at the time gave the company “cause for concern”.
Obviously, whatever amount the airline decides to give will not be able to give the children back their stolen innocence but British Airways is taking a needful step, especially as Mr. Woods is no longer around to face justice for his actions.