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Children's holiday deaths 'tragedy'

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

The inquests into the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd - aged six and seven respectively - began in Wakefield today, 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 today to see the jury of seven men and four women sworn in.

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

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


From Belfast Telegraph