This afternoon, the Chief Executive of Thomas Cook, Peter Fankhauser, met with the parents of Christi and Bobby Shepherd at Garden Court Chambers and offered his apology for the way Thomas Cook had treated the family. The children died at the Louise Corcyra Hotel in October 2006 after being overcome by fumes from a faulty hot water boiler. On 13 May, an inquest into their deaths found that holiday firm Thomas Cook had “breached its duty of care.”
Since the meeting this afternoon Leslie Thomas QC said, “Today, for the first time in this tragedy, Thomas Cook has done the right thing.”
Thomas Cook has agreed to make considerable donations to a number of charities in memory of Christi and Bobby: CO-Gas Safety, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, the NSPCC, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and INQUEST.
The mother of the children, Sharon Wood, said:
“Nothing can give us back our children or the carefree lives we once led. No one can erase the lifelong pain for Christi and Bobby’s family. We cannot change the past. We accept that it may be time to look to the future. We have asked Thomas Cook to push forward our request to demolish bungalow 112 so that it can be a lasting tribute in the form of a playground in the spot where Christi and Bobby died.
We would like to thank Fiona Borrill and Gemma Vine of Lester Morrill Solicitors in Leeds whose support and expertise, along with the assistance of the charitable organisation INQUEST, has been invaluable.
Huge thanks to our QC Leslie Thomas for his faith in our case and supporting us, the underdog, in our fight against a corporate giant.
I hope that Thomas Cook and everyone who has defended its wrongdoings, now realises the impact of their actions and that lessons will be learned.
We look forward to some normality to our lives in the sure and certain knowledge that we have done everything we could to get justice for Christi and Bobby’s deaths.”
The family also thanked the general public for the support they have shown the parents of Christi and Bobby.
The family of the children is represented by Leslie Thomas QC and Una Morris of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Gemma Vine at Lester Morrill Solicitors. The family has also been supported throughout by INQUEST.
Leslie, Una and Gemma are members of INQUEST Lawyers Group.