African girls to sue British Airways over alleged sexual abuse by pilot

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LONDON (Reuters) – Girls and young women allege they were sexually abused by a British Airways (BA) in African schools and orphanages to sue the airline, a firm representing them said on Wednesday.

Lawyers argue that BA should be held responsible for the actions of First Officer Simon Wood carried out the alleged crimes during stopovers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Wood, 54, was found dead after being hit by a train in August 2013, 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 airlines’ community relations work,” said Nichola Marshall, a at Leigh Day which is representing 16 alleged victims aged from eight to 20.[eap_ad_2]

“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.”

A team from the firm would meet with other possible victims in Kenya and Uganda in the coming weeks, she said.

“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,” BA said in a statement.The case will be heard in a London court.[eap_ad_3]