Bobby and Christi Shepherd inquest: gas safety device disconnected day before children’s deaths

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The inquest of Bobby and Christi Shepherd who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu has been told a gas safety device may have been disconnected just a day before their death.

Bobby, six, and Christi, seven, were on holiday with their dad Neil and his then partner, now wife, Ruth, in October 2006 when carbon monoxide fumes leaked into the bungalow they were staying in at the Louis Corcyra Hotel complex.

The hearing at Wakefield Coroner’s Court was told there were four separate faults with the boiler which supplied hot water to the bungalow the family were staying in and a neighbouring property.

The family were due to stay in the hotel’s main complex but Mr Shepherd told hotel staff he had paid for a bungalow.

They were allocated a semi-detached bungalow, which the jury was told, was only available after the previous occupants had been admitted to hospital after becoming unwell.

And the day before the children fell ill on October 25, 2006, holidaymakers staying in the adjacent bungalow complained they had been having problems with their hot water supply and maintenance staff were sent to investigate.

The inquest was told that a gas safety device was disconnected.

Leslie Thomas QC, representing the family, asked Thomas Magner, an independent gas engineer: “There is no doubt in your mind that the defects caused these children’s deaths?”

Mr Magner replied: “Yes, I believe it’s as clear as that.”

On the morning of October 27, 2006, 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.

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

The hearing continues.