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Sunday, May 17, 2015

PBROTRIB SUGGESTION TO GIFT £1.5m TAKEN UP BY THOMAS COOK CEO Peter Fankhauser. Family: ‘Our compensation was accepted before the inquest in which [Peterborough based] Thomas Cook were found to have breached their duty of care...'

Sharon Wood (left) and her husband Paul leaving Wakefield Coroners Court as a jury considering its verdicts at the inquests into the deaths of two young children who died of carbon monoxide poisoning during a holiday in Greece has been told by a coroner the only conclusion it can come to is unlawful killing. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 12, 2015. A two-week long hearing has heard how Bobby and Christi Shepherd, aged six and seven, died at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel, on Corfu, when they were overcome by fumes from a faulty boiler. But the jurors were told by West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff that it had been agreed that the only conclusion they could come to "would be a conclusion of unlawful killing". Mr Hinchliff then told the jury: "This has been a complex, difficult and sometimes harrowing exercise. But you have to make your determination based on the evidence that you've heard and not on any feelings of sympathy and empathy with the family." Bobby and Christi, from Horbury, near Wakefield, were on a half-term break with their father, Neil, and his partner, now wife, Ruth, when the tragedy happened in October 2006. Mr and Mrs Shepherd sat in the court today to listen to the coroner sum up the evidence, as they have done throughout the inquest. Next to them sat the children's mother, Sharon Wood, who has also followed the proceedings from the public gallery with her husband, Paul. They have heard that Bobby and Christi were found dead in a bungalow in the grounds of the hotel by a chambermaid. Mr and Mrs Shepherd were found in comas but later recovered. See PA story INQUEST Corfu. Photo credit should read: Dave Higgens/PA Wire
The children’s parents have only received a fraction of the £3.5million compensation they had been expecting (Picture: PA)

Latest: Thomas Cook has today [Monday] taken up the PBROTRIB suggestion issued yesterday to gift £1,500,000 (what has been termed 'blood money') to the UN childrens charity Unicef.

This is how BBC NEWS reported the development earlier today:
Thomas Cook said its insurers had taken half of the payout for legal costs. It said donating the remainder to Unicef was "the right thing to do".

Group chief executive officer Peter Fankhauser said: "Thomas Cook has not in any way profited from our claim against the hotel owner.
"In late 2012, we brought a claim against the hotelier for breaching their contract to provide safe accommodation to our customers and to comply with all applicable laws, which was decided in our favour.
"Today I have made arrangements for the full amount - £1.5m - to be donated in full to Unicef, the world's leading children's organisation.
"I believe this is the right thing to do and I apologise to the family for all they have gone through."

 This is what the family said earlier yesterday, Sunday:

‘Our compensation was accepted before the inquest in which [Peterborough based] Thomas Cook were found to have breached their duty of care.

‘We accepted the offer from the Louis Group Hotel chain because we were in financial ruin with the enormous cost of attending court hearings in Corfu and the subsequent impact on our businesses which have since ceased trading.’

Julian Bray writes: This is nothing less than a major international PR disaster for the Peterborough based travel firm Thomas Cook.

Where is the Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser  (not a British national)?  Why is CEO Fankhauser not immediately hosting a an all media news conference to reassure future Thomas Cook holidaymakers, they will not be put at risk?  

Where is the statement that properly explains the basis of the legal award (clearly not 'compensation' as the unnamed Thomas Cook seemingly poorly briefed spokesperson stated) and that it was for legal costs incurred?

Who made the claim was it Thomas Cooks insurance company and if so why are they not named?

Where is the offer to additionally compensate the family ( this matter has dragged on for a full 10 years ) for all their subsequent travel and other expenses.

Its reported the family earlier accepted £350,000:00 or 10 percent of the Thomas Cook payout. They claim they were in danger of being declared bankrupt and were forced to accept the payment.

Where is the full legal apology and a detailed account of the lessons learned from this tragic event?

The newspapers have branded it 'blood money' perhaps half of the £3.5million should be paid over to the family and the other half to a charity of the parents choice?  

Mrs Wood told the Mail on Sunday: ‘It seems our children’s lives are worth only a fraction of Thomas Cook’s reputation.’

She said her frustration is not about money, but the family is ‘incensed’ that the travel firm sought to claim back costs after a 2010 criminal trial in Greece during which three employees from the Louis Corcyra Beach hotel were found guilty of manslaughter.

Asked about the compensation the firm received, a spokesman for Thomas Cook said: ‘After it was clear that the hotel was responsible for the tragedy all parties affected were compensated and Thomas Cook received a compensation that partly compensated for the costs related to the incident.’

He said the compensation covered ‘some of the costs incurred up to and during the trial in Corfu in 2010′.

On Wednesday a jury at an inquest almost 10 years after the deaths of the children from Horbury, near Wakefield gave a conclusion of unlawful killing, and said Thomas Cook had ‘breached their duty of care’.

The foreman also read out a series of conclusions which included how Thomas Cook had been misled by the hotel about its gas supply, but also how the holiday giant’s health and safety audit of the complex was inadequate.

Speaking after the inquest Mrs Wood said she would always hold the travel firm responsible for the deaths, saying they ‘could and should have identified that lethal boiler.’

The children’s father Neil Shepherd claimed the firm had ‘hidden behind a wall of silence and they have refused to answer any questions for almost nine years.’

Responding to criticism from the family over an apparent failure to apologise over the deaths the spokesman said a letter saying ‘sorry’ had been sent from Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser.

Mrs Wood told the Mail on Sunday the firm should have apologised at the inquest.

The coroner said he would deliver recommendations later this year to relevant organisations which he hoped would influence British and European law and practices in the holiday industry.

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THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).


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