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Hotel staff to face charges over children's death

Published 29/10/2006

Staff at the tourist hotel where two British children were killed by fumes

from a faulty heater are facing criminal charges.

The bodies of seven-year-old Christianne Shepherd and her brother Robert, six,

from Horbury, West Yorkshire, were discovered by a cleaner in the Corfu bungalow

room on Thursday morning.

Their father Neil Shepherd, 38, and his partner Ruth Beatson, 27, are in a

serious condition in hospital after being found unconscious in the same room,

and have not yet been told the children are dead.

Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel manager George Chrysikopoulos will face manslaughter

charges once the toxicology tests on the children's blood have been completed.

The island's chief of security Dimitris Bineris said the hotel's owner, its

maintenance manager and an engineer who installed an air conditioning unit will

also be charged.

Mr Bineris added that under Greek law the individuals could face up to five

years in prison, but if they receive a sentence of less than three years they

can choose to pay a fine instead.

He said the air conditioning engineer faces charges because it is believed a

hole was left between the boiler room and the adjacent holiday bungalow when a

new unit was installed.

This allowed lethal carbon monoxide gas from the boiler to escape into the


Professor Theodore Vouyouklais, the pathologist who examined the children's

bodies, said very high levels of carbon monoxide were found.

Yesterday Christianne and Robert's mother, Sharon Wood, travelled to the

island's mortuary where their bodies are being held.

She then moved on to the hotel at the centre of the tragedy and the hospital

where her former husband and his girlfriend are being cared for.

They are both in a serious condition but are recovering and their lives are

not in danger, said staff at the General Hospital of Corfu.

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