Man in court over boat deaths

Lauren Thornton, 10, and her mother Kelly Webster, 36
Lauren Thornton, 10, and her mother Kelly Webster, 36
Have your say

A man has appeared in court in connection with the deaths of a mother and her daughter in a boating tragedy.

Matthew Eteson, 41, of Church Road, Leyland, was charged with manslaughter by gross negligence following the deaths of Kelly Webster and her daughter Lauren Webster at Bowness on Windermere on April 1 last year.

Police, along with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, began a joint investigation and a file of evidence was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Eteson appeared before South Lakeland Magistrates Court in Kendal on Wednesday, where he confirmed his name and address and agreed to extension of police bail.

He was committed for trial to Carlisle Crown Court, where a preliminary hearing will be held on July 7.

The charges relate to an incident when police were called to Lake Windermere by the ambulance service after it was reported that two people on a privately owned boat were unconscious.

On arrival, Ms Webster, 36, from Leyland and her 10-year-old daughter, Lauren Thornton, were being treated by paramedics. They were airlifted to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where they later died. In May the MAIB initial report said they suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.