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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 12:18 GMT
Funeral for Corfu death children
Neil Shepherd [left] and Paul Wood carry one of the coffins
Neil Shepherd (left) carries the coffin of one of his children

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of two children from West Yorkshire killed by carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu.

Robert Shepherd, six, and his sister Christianne, seven, of Horbury, near Wakefield, died on a half-term break with their father and his partner.

A double funeral service was held at St John's Church in Wakefield city centre followed by a private burial.

Six people in Corfu have been charged with manslaughter over the deaths.

Greek police have blamed the tragedy on a faulty gas boiler which powered the air conditioning in their chalet.

Relatives and friends were joined by pupils and staff from the children's school, Horbury Primary, for the half-hour service in St John's Square, Wakefield.

It is deeply, deeply upsetting for everyone and they are just trying to get to grips with what has happened
Father Peter Twistleton

Father Peter Twistleton, the vicar at the family's local church in Horbury, said the deaths had affected the local community "very, very deeply".

He told BBC Radio Leeds: "Horbury is a fairly close-knit community and with the children attending the local school they have a network of friendships within the community so it has affected many, many families.

"It has also affected people who have just had children or grandchildren.

The mother's husband Paul Wood; the children's mother Sharon Wood; the father's girlfriend Ruth Beatson; and the children's father Neil Shepherd, arrive for the funerals
Parents Sharon Wood [second left] and father Neil Shepherd [right]

"They feel almost guilty that their children are safe and these two children have died so tragically, their lives have been snuffed out almost overnight."

He said many people had come to his church to sign a book of condolence and the messages they had left were very moving.

"It is deeply, deeply upsetting for everyone and they are just trying to get to grips with what has happened.

"People are coming in and expressing heartfelt sadness. Two innocent children's lives have ended so abruptly and it's very difficult for them to find some meaning in that."


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