Greek court convicts 4 over carbon monoxide poisoning of 2 British children

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

4 convicted in Greece for hotel poisoning deaths

ATHENS, Greece — A court on the Greek holiday island of Corfu convicted four people Tuesday in the fatal carbon monoxide poisoning of two British children at a local luxury hotel in 2006.

The hotel manager, a senior maintenance official and the hotel electrician — all Greeks — each received seven-year prison sentences for negligent manslaughter and causing injury by negligence, court officials said.

All appealed the decision and were freed pending the hearing of their appeal.

Seven-year-old Christianne Shepherd and her 6-year-old brother, Robert, were found dead in October 2006 in their bungalow at the Corcyra Beach Hotel. Their father, Neil Shepherd, and his partner Ruth-Emy Beatson were found unconscious but made full recoveries.

Authorities said the family had been poisoned by carbon monoxide that leaked into the bungalow from a malfunctioning boiler.

A fourth Greek man who had been involved in constructing the bungalow received a two-year suspended sentence for building violations. He also appealed the decision.

Judges cleared another seven defendants, including two British nationals who worked for the Thomas Cook tour operator. The prosecutor had initially called for 10 of the defendants to be convicted.

Corfu, off the northwestern coast of Greece, is popular with British vacationers.

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