British pilot with dream job jailed over Africa massacre

David Simpson forcing himself to eat the food on offer in prison
David Simpson forcing himself to eat the food on offer in prison Photo: ITV News

A British pilot with his dream job of flying clients around the central African wilderness has told ITV News how he ended up living in squalid conditions after being accused of mass murder.

24-year-old David Simpson from Yorkshire was working for an African wilderness company when he spotted what appeared to be a massacre near Bakouma in the Central African Republic.

He told the military about the bodies but ended up being thrown in jail in the capital Bangui.

David Simpson tells ITV News's Martin Geissler about his ordeal.

David believes the motive is blackmail. The country is riddled with corruption and he thinks the military fabricated the accusation of murder to try and get bail money.

He says the real massacre suspect is the warlord Joseph Kony, but the authorities are too scared to do anything about it.

In prison David Simpson has caught malaria and witnessed a riot.

David Simpson worked as a pilot for a safari company
David Simpson worked as a pilot for a safari company Credit: ITV News

Speaking to ITV News, David explained he found himself living in a prison cell so small that at night he couldn't even lay down properly to go to sleep.

On a typical day he would remain locked up for 16 hours.

The site of the massacre in Central African Republic
The site of the massacre in Central African Republic Credit: Press Association

Back in the UK his brother in Yorkshire wants the Foreign Office to do more.

There have been no charges in the 9 weeks since his arrest. There is also no indication of if, or when, he'll be released.

A Foreign Office statement said:

Consular staff have visited Mr Simpson regularly since his arrest and are in frequent contact with him and his family

The Foreign Secretary has personally raised the case with the Central African Republic (CAR) Foreign Minister.

He sought assurances from the CAR Foreign Minister for Mr Simpson's safety and called for a swift conclusion to the case.

– Foreign Office statement