BBC employee admits to burning baby tsunami victim

Published On: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:15 AM
By: Moses Gold
Craig Summers
A bodyguard of the BBC confessed to burning the body of a baby in a funeral pyre made of garbage after the tsunami in 2004 because it was a threat to the health of his team of reporters.

Craig Summers, 52, discovered the body outside the house in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where he was staying with journalist Ben Brown and his production team, covering the consequences of the disaster.

But instead of informing local authorities, he burned the body of the child and swore two other witnesses, including BBC producer Peter Leng, to keep it a secret. There is no suggestion that Mr. Brown knew about the incident.

Writing in his new book bodyguard: My Life on the front, Summers compared the body to an obstacle such as a "blocked toilet."
"I take pride in my work," writes Summers, now head of security for Sky TV. "No one got sick on that trip. Nobody came to diarrhea and I knew I had done my job of keeping everyone healthy. I ran a tight ship to ensure everyone always washed their hands with baby wipes.

"The baby was an obstacle to their health and the next day would be a clogged toilet. I did not know what was coming, but I dealt with that and I would do the same again today."

The revelation comes after BBC Head of Newsgathering, Fran Unsworth, Head of Security and the ex-army officer Paul Greeves, tried to persuade Summers not to publish the biography.

According to the bodyguard, who convened a meeting in January after he sent a copy of the draft manuscript, he was asked to leave the project alone.

We do not know what offenses are talked about in the book the confession did not paint the Corporation in a good light.

Summers, a former commander, served with British forces in the Falklands and the Balkans before being appointed the Corporation's safety and security adviser in 2001, in collaboration with the High Risk Team which "advises policy programs that deploy in harsh or dangerous situations.”