Family of Nottinghamshire man killed in Tunisian terror attack to sue holiday firm TUI

John Stollery
John Stollery

The family of a Nottinghamshire social worker killed in the Tunisia terror attack have said they plan to sue tour operator TUI after a coroner ruled he was unlawfully killed.

John Stollery, 58, from Walesby was one of 30 Britons killed by Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui on June 26 last year.

The 23-year-old opened fire on holidaymakers with an assault rifle killing 38 people in total including three people from Ireland, two Germans, a Belgian and a Portuguese woman.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith ruled that all 30 Britons were "unlawfully killed".

However, the coroner ruled against a finding of "neglect" by Thomson owner TUI, or the owners of the Riu Imperial Marhaba

Speaking after the seven-week inquest, Mrs Stollery said the hearing had been "extremely difficult to hear and comprehend" and an "emotionally draining" experience.

She said: "Disappointingly, I still believe questions have been left unanswered and responsibilities have not been accepted, so we are not able to rest or move on.

"Opportunities were available to TUI and their partners to improve security at the Imperial Marhaba hotel but they chose not to and it is clear actions were not taken to address any security and safeguarding concerns."

Law firm Irwin Mitchell who are representing Mr Stollery's family and 21 other victims' families, said it had heard "shocking evidence about the level of security precautions at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel at the time of the terrorist attack".

Clive Garner, partner at Irwin Mitchell said: “It is now crucial that the whole travel industry learns from what happened in Sousse to reduce the risk of similar catastrophic incidents in future.

“Our clients are very grateful to the coroner for his careful and sensitive handling of the inquest proceedings. They feel he has been fair and thorough in his investigation and appreciate how he has tried to ensure throughout that the families come first.

“On behalf of our clients who lost members of their families and those who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, we will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against TUI for damages.”

Speaking outside court, Nick Longman, the managing director of TUI UK, said the attack had "shocked and devastated all of us".

He said: "We are so very sorry for the pain and loss those affected have suffered.

"On that day the world changed. As an industry we have adapted and we will need to continue to do so.

"This terrorist incident has left its mark on all of us and its impact will always be remembered."