Daughter of Burnley couple John and Susan Cooper who died on holiday in Egypt in 2018 hopes for answers as inquest date date set
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An inquest into the deaths of John Cooper and his wife Susan is due to be held at Blackburn Town Hall on Tuesday, November 7th. The couple’s daughter, Kelly Ormerod, is hoping the hearing may finally provide some answers on how her parents died.
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham, who has raised the issue in Parliament, said he ‘sincerely hoped’ the inquest would provide the answers Kelly and those who knew Susan and John were looking for, adding: “"The Cooper family have rightly been seeking answers to what happened on that fateful night in Egypt back in 2018. This was a tragic event, exacerbated by the lack of information.”
Kelly was on a Thomas Cook holiday in Egypt with her three children and her parents when tragedy struck on August 21st, 2018. She found r mum and dad both close to collapse in their room at the five-star Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
Doctors were called but it was too late for John who was 69. Susan, who was 63, died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.
Egyptian authorities said that the tragic deaths were due to natural causes linked to an E.coli infection. But at a preliminary inquest in the UK a report presented by expert Dr Nick Gent, a senior medical advisor at Public Health England, suggested “infectious biological agent or toxic chemicals” were to blame.
The hearing was opened and adjourned in Preston in May, 2019, and a fuller hearing was expected to take place later that year.
The coroner, Dr James Adeley, said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office approached the Egyptian authorities on 25 separate occasions before a report was released in February but it did not include the full post mortem results from Egypt or the examination of the hotel room.
The coroner then wrote directly to the Egyptian Prosecutor General to insist again the relevant information be sent over and a final answer can be given to the family.
Married in 1975, the couple met at the former Hop nightclub in Burnley where John worked as a doorman. He also worked as a window cleaner before going into the building trade, launching his own business, Safe As Houses, which specialised in building properties and extensions.
The son of a miner, John attended St Mary's Primary and the former Towneley High schools.
A keen diver, John, who was affectionately known as "Cooperman" also enjoyed pot holing and clay pigeon shooting and he shot for the England team. A freemason, he was a member of the Abbey lodge at Whalley. Nelson born Susan was a former pupil at Walverden Infants, St John's Primary and the former Mansfield High schools.
Susan, had worked for Thomas Cook travel agents in Burnley town centre for many years but before that she worked for Holt's Shoes in Nelson, ATS Tyres and was the Estee Lauder representative in Debenhams, Blackburn.