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Wounds revealed as first inquests into victims open.

Byline: David Mercer Reporter

THE deadly wounds inflicted on eight Britons killed in the Tunisia terror attack were confirmed yesterday as inquests were opened into their deaths.

West London Coroner's Court heard details of the first British victims to be repatriated back to the UK following the beach massacre a week ago.

Three of the eight victims died from gunshot wounds to the head, while many had to be identified by their dental records, the hearings were told.

Joel Richards, 19, and his grandfather Charles Patrick Evans, 78, were both shot in the head, while Joel's uncle, Adrian Evans, 49, died in the attack from gunshot wounds to the neck and "trunk".

Joel, a University of Worcester student and talented young football referee, is believed to be the youngest of the British victims killed by gunman Seifeddine Rezgui when he opened fire in the resort of Sousse. Joel's 16-year-old brother Owen survived the attack last Friday, in which 38 holidaymakers including 30 Britons were killed.

Stephen Mellor, 59, from Bodmin, Cornwall, died from gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen as he shielded his wife Cheryl during the attack.

Fashion blogger Carly Lovett, 24, from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, who was on holiday her fiance Liam, died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Denis Thwaites, 70, a former Birmingham City football player, died from a gunshot wound to the chest, while his wife Elaine, 69, was killed by gunshot wounds to the chest and pelvis.

John Stollery, 58, a social worker from Nottinghamshire, who was on holiday with his wife Cheryl and son, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head.

Detective Sergeant David Batt of the Counter Terrorism Command told the hearing the attack happened at around 11.15 am last Friday and was believed to have lasted 30 minutes. "Tourists were indiscriminately targeted by the gunman," he said. "The gunman was shot by security services."

The bodies of the eight victims were moved to the central mortuary in Tunis after they were killed, Mr Batt told the inquest.

"Senior UK police identification managers have assisted in Tunisia and in the UK to oversee the identi-fication process," he added.

Mr Batt said 275 witness accounts had been taken by police, while more than 1,200 potential witnesses had returned to the UK. "Accounts are being taken from those who are deemed significant," he said.

There was a heavy police presence near the court yesterday. Floral tributes were also left nearby. Chinyere Inyama, senior coroner for West London, confirmed the victims' bodies will be released to their families as he adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.

The coroner said the inquests had been suspended pending the outcome of investigations by British and Tunisian police.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 4, 2015
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