Bobby and Christi Shepherd inquest: Dad blames Thomas Cook for children’s deaths

Christianne Shepherd and Bobby Shepherd
Christianne Shepherd and Bobby Shepherd

The father of Bobby and Christi Shepherd told an inquest he “firmly believes” his children would still be alive if Thomas Cook had inspected a faulty boiler.

Bobby, six, and Christi, seven, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu with their dad Neil and his then partner, now wife, Ruth, in October.

Their father Neil broke down in tears as he gave evidence at the inquest today.

He said he was “paralysed with guilt “ that he wasn’t able to save his children’s lives.

Mr Shepherd said: “I firmly believe my children would be here today had Thomas Cook carried out an inspection of this boiler.”

He also told the inquest he didn’t know his children had died until four days after their death when he awoke from a coma caused by the carbon monoxide fumes.

He said the family got in bed at around 11.30pm on October 25, 2006 and after about ten minutes Christi started to cry.

Reading a statement from Mr Shepherd, Coroner David Hinchliff said: “You got up and then started to feel dizzy or disorientated. You described it as being as though you were drunk but you weren’t drunk as you’d only had a couple of drinks all evening.

“You grabbed a carrier bag because you could hear Christi being sick and then you felt sick yourself.

“You must have lost consciousness at that point because you don’t remember anything after that.”

Mr Shepherd said the next thing he remembered was waking up in hospital and seeing his brother four days later.

His brother told him what had happened once he regained consciousness in intensive care in a hospital in Corfu.

Mr Shepherd said Bobby was the “perfect son” and Christi was an “extremely affectionate child.”

Reading Mr Shepherd’s police statement, Mr Hinchliff said: “You say you try to focus on the positives but you’re still paralysed with guilt.

“You still dwell on the fact that you were not able to save your children.”

The hearing continues.