British family poisoned, two dead

Two British children were found dead in a hotel while their parents remained in a coma yesterday on Corfu, in western Greece, in what initial tests show was the result of poisoning. The boy and girl, aged 6 and 7 respectively, were found by a maid in the hotel room at the luxury seaside resort in Gouvia, on the island’s eastern coast, where the family was staying for a week’s holiday. Their father, 38, and mother, 28, were rushed to the hospital, where they remained in intensive care. «The parents are on life-support machines and in critical condition,» Corfu General Hospital pathologist Stefanos Gasteratos told state television. Police said preliminary tests indicated a possible cause of multiple poisoning. Authorities have not ruled out the possibility that the family had consumed poisonous mushrooms. The parents have been identified as Neil Shepherd and Ruth Beatson from West Yorkshire, while the children are Robert and Christianne. This is the third criminal investigation into an incident involving British tourists in Greece in the last few months. In August, a Briton killed his son and injured his daughter by leaping with the children in his arms from a hotel balcony at the popular resort of Ierapetra, on the island of Crete. Earlier this month, another British tourist was charged with attempted murder for the fall and severe injury of his girlfriend from another hotel balcony on the island.