Saturday 1 October 2016

The holiday that became the 'most appalling tragedy' - children's carbon monoxide death recalled at inquest

Published 27/04/2015 | 13:53

Christianne Shepherd, seven, and her brother, Robert, six, who died after a faulty boiler leaked gas into their bungalow in Corfu in October 2006, as a coroner said that a happy half-term holiday in Corfu became
Christianne Shepherd, seven, and her brother, Robert, six, who died after a faulty boiler leaked gas into their bungalow in Corfu in October 2006, as a coroner said that a happy half-term holiday in Corfu became "the most appalling tragedy" when the two young children died from carbon monoxide poisoning. West Yorkshire Police/PA Wire

A happy half-term holiday in Corfu became "the most appalling tragedy" when two young children from West Yorkshire died from carbon monoxide poisoning, a coroner has said.

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The inquests into the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd - aged six and seven respectively - began in Wakefield, more than eight years after they died on the Greek island.

Outlining the case to a jury, coroner David Hinchliff said: "What should have been a very happy and relaxed half-term break became the most appalling tragedy."

Mr Hinchliff described how the children, from Horbury, West Yorkshire, had been feeling unwell in their holiday bungalow the day before they were found dead by a chambermaid in October 2006.

The children's father, Neil, and his partner, now wife, Ruth, were both found in a coma in the bungalow.

Mr and Mrs Shepherd were both at Wakefield Coroner's Court to see the jury of seven men and four women sworn in.

The children's mother, Sharon Wood, was also in court for the proceedings.

Mr Hinchliff said: "The family of these children have waited a long, long time for this day to come."

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