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Mother walks out of carbon monoxide deaths inquest

The mother of two children who died in a fume filled holiday home in Corfu stormed out of their inquest in Wakefield today.

Christie and Bobby Shepherd died from carbon monoxide poisoning almost nine years ago.

Their mother Sharon Wood also shouted from the public gallery as a former rep from holiday firm Thomas Cook gave evidence.

Two former company employees today declined to answer questions about the tragedy.

Chris Kiddey reports:

Mother walks out of carbon monoxide death inquest

The mother of two children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at a hotel in Greece has left an inquest while a Thomas Cook tour rep gave evidence.

Nicola Jordison, 31, was giving evidence at the inquest in Wakefield into the deaths of brother and sister Christi and Bobby Shepherd, aged seven and six, who died while staying at a Corfu hotel complex in October 2006.

Mother Sharon Wood walked out after coroner David Hinchliff read out lengthy statements made by Mrs Jordison to Greek courts in 2007 after she was accused of manslaughter by negligence.

As he finished and turned to talk to the witness, Ms Wood got up and shouted: "Well done. You know a lot about gas."

The jury has already heard how the children were on a half-term break with their father Neil and his partner, now his wife, Ruth, when they died.

They had been feeling unwell before going to bed and were found dead the next morning in the bungalow where they were staying in the grounds of the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel. The two adults were found in comas.

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Mother storms out of inquest into carbon monoxide deaths

The mother of two children who died in their fume filled holiday home on Corfu has stormed out of an inquest into their deaths in Wakefield

Sharon Wood stormed out of the inquest into her children's deaths

Sharon wood, the mother of Christi and Bobby Shepherd has just heard a statement read out which was made by a Thomas Cook holiday rep.

In it the the rep, Nicola Jordison, said her role was limited to customer service and did not extend to safety matters

At the end Sharon Wood stood up, applauded briefly said, "Well done, you know a lot about gas, " and walked out.

The inquest is continuing.

Blow for family after missing man's mother dies

The family of a missing man who've endured months of anguish over his disappearance - have been dealt a terrible new blow after his mother died - they say from a broken heart.

Damion Vernon from Bridlington was reported missing in December and since then his mother Margaret has campaigned for his safe return.

But on Saturday night, she died suddenly - Helen Steel has been to see her family and spoken to Margaret's sister Bridget:

Fresh appeal to find missing man after mother's death

The family of a man missing from Bridlington have issued a fresh appeal to find him after the death of his mother.

Damion Vernon's mother, Margaret, died at the weekend - her family say brokenhearted.

Despite appeals for her son to get in touch, he's never done so. His car was found in Wakefield, where a police search of the nearby River Calder found nothing.

His aunt Bridget Bean says they're facing a race against time to find Damion.

Mother of missing Bridlington man dies

The family of a missing man from Bridlington have spoken of their heartache after his mother died without seeing him again.

Damion Vernon disappeared five months ago.

His mother Margaret appeared on Calendar as part of her search to find him in January - but she died on Saturday.

Damion's mother, Margaret on Calendar

Mr Vernon, 32, went missing before Christmas last year.

The father-of-two was last seen in Wakefield, where police later began an underwater search of the River Calder.

It is believed he was on his way to pick up a car in South Yorkshire when he went missing.


Father blames Thomas Cook for Corfu holiday gas deaths

The father of two children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu has said he firmly believes they would be alive had Thomas Cook inspected a faulty boiler.

Neil Shepherd from Horbury near Wakefield was giving evidence at the inquest into Christi and Bobby Shepherd's deaths in a hotel bungalow almost nine years ago.

The family booked the holiday with Thomas Cook and were staying at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel when the children were overcome by fumes.

Mr Shepherd told an inquest today: "When Mr Richard Carson, the health and safety executive of Thomas Cook, gave his evidence in the criminal trial in Corfu, his defence was that he had no health and safety qualifications so could not possibly have known anything was wrong. That shocked me.

"I would like you, sir, to ask the past and present CEO of Thomas Cook why they carry out health and safety audits on hotels they send their customers to using unqualified health and safety auditors, and do they not think it would be appropriate when putting their clients in accommodation to get them inspected using fully-qualified auditors who know what dangers to look for?

"There were massive gas tanks at the hotel, there was a gas warning light on the side of the boiler house. It is inexcusable for these to be missed and Thomas Cook should not be putting their guests' lives at risk by using unqualified staff to carry out health and safety audits."

I firmly believe my children would be here today if Thomas Cook had carried out an inspection of the boilers.

– Neil Shepherd

Father weeps for gas death children

The father of two West Yorkshire children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on a family holiday in Corfu has broken down in tears while describing his "perfect son" and "sensitive, feisty and loving" daughter.

Neil Shepherd was giving evidence at the inquest into Christi and Bobby Shepherd's deaths in a hotel bungalow on the Greek island in 2006.

Mr Shepherd fought to contain his emotion as Wakefield Coroner David Hinchliff spoke about his children.

Mr Hinchliff told the inquest jury that Christi and Bobby - aged seven and six at the time - went on holiday to the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel with their father and stepmother Ruth in the October half-term holiday.

Mr Shepherd sobbed as the coroner read a statement he had made about his children.

Mr Hinchliff told Mr Shepherd he described Bobby as "your perfect son" and, when asked to describe Christi in three words, he said "sensitive, feisty and loving".

He added that Christi was "bubbly and full of life".

Teenager assaulted outside Wakefield school

Police are appealing for information after a 13-year-old was assaulted outside a school in Wakefield.

It happened near Kettlethorpe school, after the victim, was approached and allegedly attacked by another student.

The teenager was taken to hospital for treatment for serious facial injuries and has now been discharged.

Police are keen to speak to the female driver of a green car who stopped at the scene to assist the victim.

Inquest told gas safety device had been 'deliberately' disconnected

The inquests into the deaths of children Christi and Bobby Shepherd from carbon monoxide poisoning at a holiday complex in Corfu have been told a gas safety device had been turned off on their bungalow water boiler probably just a day earlier.

Inquest told gas safety device had been disconnected Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Christi, who was seven and her six-year-old brother died in October 2006 when carbon monoxide fumes leaked into the bungalow they were staying in with their family.

The hearing in Wakefield was told there were four separate faults with the water boiler which the bungalow shared with a neighbouring property.

The day before the children fell ill, visitors staying in the adjacent bungalow complained that they had problems with their hot water supply, so maintenance men at the Louis Corcyra resort were sent to investigate.

The inquest was told that a gas safety device was disconnected - probably on the same day.

The evening of the next day, the children, their father Neil and his then partner and now wife Ruth fell ill.

The children died from CO fumes which had leaked from the faulty boiler into the bungalow. Neil and Ruth were left in a coma for several days.

The hearing continues.

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