UK inquest into tragic family
Published 01/10/2013 | 05:40
AN Inquest in Bolton, Greater Manchester, last week recalled the tragic deaths of a father and his two children after a crisp packet blocked the chimney of their Gurteen home at Christmas, 2011.
Former bricklayer Trevor Wallwork, 50, his daughter, Kimberley, 12, and son Harry, 9, died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Because Mr Wallwork, from Swinton, near Salford, and the children were British citizens an Inquest was held in the UK.
A previous Inquest was held in Sligo.
The Inquest heard the crisp packet blocked their chimney, meaning deadly fumes filled the room where they were sitting.
The family were slowly overcome and found dead in the living room the next day, with the tv and Christmas lights still on.
Mr Wallwork's stepdaughter Vicky Barnes, 22, found the horrific scene after he failed to drop off the children ahead of a planned visit to his terminally-ill wife Susan, 52, in hospital.
Susan, his second wife of six years, died of breast cancer six months after the triple tragedy.
The couple had left England in 2004 to move to the cottage in Gurteen.
They were joined by Kimberley and Harry from Mr Wallwork's marriage to his first wife Donna.
Bolton coroner Alan Walsh described the deaths as a "sad and extreme" chain of events, adding: "I have found it to be one of the most tragic cases I have heard in over 12 years.
Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said the three died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Coyle said in a statement investigators found the empty crisp packet high up in the chimney and used tongs to pull it out. It had not melted despite the fire.
Accidental death verdicts were recorded.