Police Investigate Scouts Following Teen’s Death on Hike


The Scout Association may face a police investigation over allegations of perverting the course of justice following the death of a teenager during a hike. Ben Leonard, 16, died after falling from cliffs at Llandudno’s Great Orme. An inquest jury found a scout leader and his assistant guilty of unlawful killing and stated that neglect by the Scout Association contributed to the incident. The association has denied any criminal allegations.

The incident occurred in August 2018 when Ben, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, was part of a group that was supposed to hike up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). Due to weather conditions, they were taken to Llandudno instead. Ben and two other boys took an unsupervised route up the hillside where Ben slipped off a cliff edge and suffered fatal head injuries.

During the inquest, assistant coroner David Pojur referred the Scouts and an employee to police for a possible conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. North Wales Police confirmed they are reviewing the referral.

The Scouts have strongly denied any allegations of criminal action. The inquest revealed that no written risk assessment was carried out for the trip and there was no discussion about safety with the scouts by their group leader or assistant leader. There was also no Scout accredited first aider on the trip.

Following the inquest, Jennie Price from the Scout Association’s board of trustees reiterated their apology to Ben’s family and stated that they have already made changes to their risk assessments, safety rules, training, and support for volunteers.

Ben’s mother, Jackie Leonard, called for the Scouts to be regulated by an external body following the verdict. She criticized the organization for portraying her son as a “wild child” and taking a “defensive” attitude.

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