Leeds & West Yorkshire

Corfu holiday gas deaths: Thomas Cook rep declines apology request

Christianne and Robert Shepherd Image copyright PA
Image caption Christianne Shepherd, seven, and her brother Robert, six, died from carbon monoxide poisoning

A tour rep has declined the chance to apologise to the family of two children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Greece.

Thomas Cook rep Nicola Jordison also refused to confirm whether statements from 2007 relating to manslaughter by negligence were hers at an inquest.

Robert and Christianne Shepherd, from West Yorkshire, died in October 2006.

Mrs Jordison had exercised her legal right at the inquest not to answer questions that may incriminate her.

During her evidence, the children's mother Sharon Wood had walked out shouting: "Well done. You know a lot about gas".

Bobby aged six and his seven-year-old sister, of Horbury, had been staying at a Corfu hotel complex been booked with Thomas Cook.

The children arrived with their father and step-mother at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel on 23 October.

'Decline to answer'

After Mrs Wood returned to the inquest, barrister Leslie Thomas QC, representing Christi and Bobby's family, asked Mrs Jordison a series of questions.

Former Thomas Cook rep Mrs Jordison exercised her legal right not to answer questions that may incriminate her during the hearing.

Mr Thomas said: "My clients would like to know whether you want to apologise to them."

Mrs Jordison said: "I decline to answer that."

The barrister then asked her whether she would like to take the opportunity to assist the inquest.

Mrs Jordison told the inquest jury: "I decline to answer that."

Earlier West Yorkshire coroner David Hinchliff read out lengthy statements made by Mrs Jordison to Greek courts in 2007 after she was accused of manslaughter by negligence.

In the statements made to the Greek court, Mrs Jordison explained she was a Thomas Cook rep at the hotel in the summer of 2006.

She said as part of her job she filled in monthly health and safety audits.

Mrs Jordison said in the statements she had been told none of the bungalows in the hotel grounds had internal gas water heaters.

She said this was why she filled in "n/a" against all the questions relating to this equipment.

Experts have described in court how the hot water boiler, which was in an external outhouse, had a number of faults and this was the source of the lethal carbon monoxide.

As he finished reading the documents and turned to talk to the witness, Mrs Wood walked out and shouted.

The coroner then asked the 31-year-old to confirm that the statements he read were hers and she said: "I decline to answer."

Earlier, Mr Hinchliff had said she had a right to not answer any questions if she felt any answers may incriminate her.

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