Bobby and Christi Shepherd inquest: “half-term holiday became most appalling tragedy”

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An inquest into the deaths of Horbury schoolchildren Bobby and Christi Shepherd who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while on a half-term holiday in Corfu has resumed.

Bobby, six, and his sister Christi, seven, died while on holiday on the Greek island with their dad Neil and his then partner, now wife, Ruth, in October 2006.

Their inquest resumed at Wakefield Coroner’s Court today (Monday).

David Hinchliff, West Yorkshire Coroner told the jury: “What should have been a relaxing half-term break became the most appalling tragedy.”

The family had been staying at a bungalow in the Louis Corcyra Hotel complex on a holiday booked through tour operator Thomas Cook.

Mr Hinchliff told the jury the family were taken ill on October 26, 2006.

He said: “Christi said she felt unwell and her brother Bobby appeared to trip or fall. He was described as being dizzy or disorientated.

“The family retired to bed that night at around 11.30pm.

“Within a matter of minutes Christi started to cry and started to feel sick.”

The next morning a chamber maid found the family inside the bungalow.

Both Bobby and Christi had died and Neil and Ruth were gravely ill and both had fallen into a coma.

An investigation by a Greek pathologist found both children died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tests showed Bobby had 56.8 per cent of carbon monoxide in his blood and Christi had 60.7 per cent in hers.

Mr Hinchliff told jurors it was suspected the poisoning was caused by a boiler in an outhouse next to the bungalow, which had been incorrectly installed, leading to fumes entering the apartment.

The children’s family are expected to give evidence at the hearing on Tuesday.

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

The hearing continues.