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BA sued over claims pilot assaulted orphanage girls

Simon Wood pictured during a visit to an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya in 1999. Credit: PA

British Airways is to be sued for damages over claims one of its pilots sexually abused children in African schools and orphanages.

Lawyers representing 16 young girls and women who claim First Officer Simon Wood assaulted them said the airline bears responsibility because he carried out the alleged attacks while on stopovers.

An inquest is due to be held into the death of Wood, 54, who was struck by a train in August while awaiting a court appearance accused of indecently assaulting a young girl and making indecent images of children.

Law firm Leigh Day said Wood allegedly molested youngsters during stopovers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania while flying for British Airways. Some of their clients are aged just eight.