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Little help from authorities over chef's death in Egypt

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

Stephen Minors

CONFUSION still surrounds the death of a Truro man killed in a horrific accident in Egypt more than three years ago.

Stephen Minors, 52, died in a collision involving a taxi on May 15, 2009.

Three other passengers and the taxi driver were also killed, and a friend of Mr Minors suffered serious injuries.

A chef, Mr Minors had moved from Shortlanesend to a military base in the Sinai Desert in 2000.

The Egyptian authorities said he died of a horrific head injury, but a post-mortem examination conducted at the Royal Cornwall Hospital concluded he actually died from internal bleeding as a result of chest injuries.

The Egyptian authorities submitted just two single-page documents to the inquest, held on Friday, which his son Nathan, 27, said "were of no help whatsoever". After the hearing he said: "The coroner got more information out of us than that paperwork.

"After more than three years we still hardly know anything.

"It was a tragic accident and a number of people were killed but there's nothing on the internet about it, there was nothing in the news at the time; it's like it never happened."

One document listed the items Mr Minors had on him on the night of the crash which it was claimed had been returned to the family – but they have never received them.

Mr Minors' sister-in-law Lorraine Toy said he met his friend Jim Hill after a dentist's appointment and the pair got into a taxi.

"Jim was sitting in the front seat and the car was stationary," she told the inquest.

"Stephen was sitting behind the driver when a vehicle came across the road and turned upside-down on top of them.

"Jim saw the vehicle coming towards them but Stephen had no idea, which I think is a blessing."

Mr Minors' former wife Lynn Griffiths told the inquest the driver of the vehicle which struck them walked away with only cuts and bruises.

"I was told the guy was taken into custody for his own safety," she said.

"Five people were killed that day and there were a lot of angry people around."

Cornwall Coroner Emma Carlyon said official details were scant despite the high death toll and needed further examination. With the family's agreement, she then adjourned the inquest.

"If there was an ongoing criminal case in Egypt it might explain why there were so few papers sent to me," she said.

After the hearing Mr Minors' mother Pat Willis said: "His brother Stuart and myself feel terribly let down over the whole thing. There's just no closure."

Mrs Toy said: "We're pleased the investigation's continuing – we feel we're just getting started."

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