Sport World

Scout Association failures ‘played part’ in Ben Leonard death

A coroner has issued the Scout Association a report on the prevention of future deaths following his concerns over the death of a teenager on a trip to north Wales.

Ben Leonard from Stockport, Greater Manchester, died after falling off the Great Orme, Llandudno, in August 2018.

In his report, coroner David Pojur outlined 20 different areas of concern about the visit which resulted in the teenager’s death.

He said: “In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.

“The lives of young people are being put at risk by the Scout Association’s failure to recognise the inadequacies of their operation practice and the part this had played in the death of Ben.”

Great Orme

The inquest in Ruthin heard how Ben and two other boys had separated from the main group while walking up the Great Orme, and their scout leaders had seen them take a different path.

When they reached the top, Ben had gone towards the edge of the cliff and tried to find a route down.

Ben was seen edging along a narrow ledge before climbing down to another short step. But moments later he slipped and fell.

An air ambulance attended but Ben died from a serious head injury.

An inquest jury at Ruthin was discharged on Friday after new evidence emerged.

The coroner said the jury had been misled because evidence that the scout leaders had been placed on restricted duties following Ben’s death had not been presented to them.

The chief executive of the Scout Association will be called in a second inquest, which has been set for July 13.

The scout association have 56 days to respond to the prevention of future deaths report.

A spokesperson for the Scouts said: “We were truly saddened by Ben’s tragic death. This was a terrible event, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.

“We take this matter very seriously. We will be carefully considering the coroner’s concerns and will respond in detail.

“The safety of young people is our number one priority. Following this tragic event, we have strengthened our policies and procedures to ensure young people can enjoy activities safely.

“As this case has not concluded, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”

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