BA pilot Simon Wood accused of abusing children visited Brent school twice shortly before he was charged
- Credit: Archant
A British Airways pilot who was found dead after he was accused of child abuse offences met pupils during two visits to a school in Brent shortly before he was charged.
First Officer Simon Wood, 54, paid his first trip to Christ Church CofE Primary School in Clarence Road, Kilburn, in March to introduce them to the Kidzone Kenya project he was involved with.
He later made a second visit in June where he gave a talk to year seven pupils about his career.
The following month Wood from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, is claimed to have used his position to target scores of children in African schools and orphanages and is alleged to have molested youngsters during stopovers in Kenya after claiming he was carrying out charity work for the airline.
He has not been accused of any wrong doing during his visit to the school which also included talks by Gill Wood and former Mayor of London and Cricklewood resident Ken Livingston.
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Wood was due to appear at Southwark Crown Court last Friday charged with one count of indecent assault of a girl under 16, two counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one count of possessing indecent images of a child, Scotland Yard said.
He was found dead on August 18 after being struck by a train.
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British Airways said it was “shocked and horrified” to learn of the allegations and insisted it was only made aware of them in July after receiving an anonymous letter.
Wood was first arrested over an indecent assault allegation in November 2001 but prosecutors ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge him.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it reconsidered the case in July after receiving details of similar alleged offences committed overseas and apparent evidence of indecent images.
A spokesman for the school said: “Simon Wood was introduced to the school as a representative from the charity Kidzone Kenya. He visited the school twice - in March this year to introduce the Kidzone Kenya project and in June and at no time was he left alone with any of our children or unsupervised when he visited on either occasion. We are confident that at no time was the safety of our children compromised.
“The school followed Ofsted guidance, which is that if a visitor is accompanied and not regularly in the school, it is not necessary for him or her to show evidence of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.”The governors and headteacher take their responsibilities to safeguarding the school’s children very seriously.”