Children Corfu deaths verdict due

Christianne and Bobby Shepherd, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in their holiday bungalow in Corfu

A Greek court is this week expected to deliver a verdict in the case of two tour firm employees charged over the deaths of a brother and sister who were poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Christianne Shepherd, seven, and her brother Robert, six, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, died after a faulty boiler leaked gas into their Corfu bungalow in October 2006.

The children were on half-term holiday with their father Neil Shepherd and his partner Ruth Beatson, who were both left in a coma as a result of the accident but survived.

Thomas Cook employees Richard Carson, 28, and Nicola Gibson, 26, face charges of manslaughter by negligence in relation to the children and causing bodily injury by negligence to Mr Shepherd and Ms Beatson.

Nine Greeks, including the manager of the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel in Gouvia, George Chrysikopoulos, and other hotel staff, are also on trial over the deaths.

It is understood that under Greek law the defendants are facing up to five years in prison.

During the trial, Corfu Town courthouse heard how carbon monoxide fumes leaked into the bungalow from an outhouse next door.

Mr Shepherd described how when his daughter became sick he went to fetch a carrier bag for her to vomit into. But he collapsed and woke up in hospital days later to be told his children had died.

The two comatose adults and the bodies of the children had been discovered by a cleaner.

The children’s mother Sharon Wood and her husband Paul were in the UK at the time of the tragedy but immediately flew to Corfu where they visited the hotel and the mortuary where the children’s bodies were being held.

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