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North Yorkshire pilot David Simpson is back in prison
A NORTH YORKSHIRE pilot locked up in Africa after stumbling across the scene of a massacre is back in jail — days after being dramatically released when rioters stormed the prison, his family has said.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has intervened in the case, says Peter Simpson, father of imprisoned David Simpson. But he has no information on when he may be released.
David Simpson, 24, of Gillamoor, near Kirkbymoorside, has been behind bars in Bangui for more than four months on apparently trumped-up murder charges after he reported the find of 13 mutilated bodies in the African bush.
On Thursday last week, Mr Simpson was in his cell with three other local employees of luxury hunting company CAWA – the government had arrested 13 staff members, including Mr Simpson and boss Eric Mararv, after they reported the discovery of the bodies in the remote east of the country – when he heard noises from outside the prison, and discovered it was a riot moving up the road towards the jail.
On his Facebook page, he said how he ran for his life to escape the rampage when more than 100 rioters armed with machetes, knives and sticks broke down the doors to the prison and began attacking inmates and looting.
After escaping the mayhem, Mr Simpson was ensconced in the home of his Swedish boss Erik Mararv for days.
But according to his father, Mr Simpson is now once again back behind bars as he waits the outcome of an investigation into the killings which he hopes will clear his name.
Peter Simpson broke the news on the dedicated Facebook page: “David Simpson British pilot imprisoned in Central Africa”, saying: “David is back in prison along with some of the staff from CAWA on a temporary basis we hope.
“William Hague spoke to their foreign minister on Monday asking for assurances on his safety and a time frame for his release. None have been given yet.
“Many thanks for helping, it all helps.”
The news was met with dismay by members of the group, which now has more than 3,500 followers.
One wrote: “Not what you hoped to hear, but hoping and praying things will soon look better.”
Another, Tina Edkins, said: “Oh No. Not back in again. Can’t they put him on house arrest”.
Since the murders, a judge has been compiling reports on the case and the Simpson family remain optimistic David will be released in the coming weeks.
Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army are widely believed to be behind the deaths of the people discovered by Mr Simpson.