Britons who died in Sri Lanka bombings ‘unlawfully killed’

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Six British nationals who died in the Sri Lanka bombings on Easter Sunday this year were “unlawfully killed”, a coroner has ruled.

42-year-old Anita Nicholson, along with her children, Alexander, 14, and Annabel, 15 were among eight Britons who died in April when their hotel, the Shangri-La was attacked.

IT director Lorraine Campbell, 55, died in the blast at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, alongside retired firefighter William Harrop and his doctor wife, Sally Bradley, when another device was detonated in the restaurant.

Lorraine Campbell got married in 2018
Image: Lorraine Campbell died in the attack
Ben Nicholson with wife Anita, son Alex, and daughter Annabel
Image: Ben Nicholson with wife Anita, son Alex, and daughter Annabel

Essex senior coroner, Caroline Beasley-Murray, recorded that they were “unlawfully killed” at a inquest hearing in Chelmsford on Tuesday.

She said: “A series of explosions took place at six venues across Sri Lanka, killing over 266 people and wounding around 500.

“Amongst the deceased sadly were the six people whose inquests we will hear today.”

Ms Beasley-Murray added that there was no evidence to say the British victims were specifically attacked, and that a police investigation into the attacks was ongoing.

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Ben Nicholson, husband to Anita and father to Alexander and Annabel, released a statement thanking the coroner and praising the Metropolitan Police for its support.

He added: “Our family and friends will forever be devastated by the events of 21 April 2019 and the loss of Anita, Alex and Annabel from our lives.

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“The positive impact that Anita, Alex and Annabel had on the people around them is reflected not only in the enormous loss we are all feeling, but also in the many moving personal tributes received over the past six months.

“Those tributes, together with our own wonderful memories, have helped to sustain us all through this tragic loss.”

Two more British victims, Daniel Linsey, 19, and his sister 15-year-old Amelie, who died in the Shangri-La attack, were not part of the inquest.

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More than 250 people died in the blasts on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, and 500 more were injured when suicide bombers targeted churches and hotels on the island.

Two days later, Islamic State said it carried out the bombings, releasing a video of suspects pledging allegiance to its former-leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Shortly after the bombings, the Sri Lankan government admitted that it had the information and intelligence that could have stopped the attacks – prompting widespread concern that not enough was done.

Sri Lanka bombing: Britons who died in attacks were ‘unlawfully killed – coroner

Six British nationals who died in the Sri Lanka bombings on Easter Sunday this year were “unlawfully killed”, a coroner has ruled. 42-year-old Anita Nicholson, along with her children, Alexander, 14, and Annabel, 15 were among eight Britons who died in April when their hotel, the Shangri-La was attacked.

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