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A teenage boy, who was killed when he slipped during a scouting trip to North Wales, was unaccompanied by leaders when he fell, an inquest has heard.

Ben Leonard, 16, from Stockport in Greater Manchester was on a visit to Llandudno on 26 August 2018 when he fell from the Great Orme and suffered a serious head injury, the hearing into his death was told.

Speaking to the inquest at Ruthin County Hall in north Wales, his mother Jackie said: "We just miss him."

Ms Leonard added the teenager had just received his GCSE results three days before he died, and had enrolled on a film studies course at college in Media City in Salford.

In a statement, she said: "He was a wonderful boy and a fantastic son and brother."

David Pojur, the assistant coroner for North Wales, told the inquest the group of nine boys, all aged between 14 and 18, were camping near Betws-y-Coed on 25 August 2018 with Scout leader Sean Glaister and assistant leaders Mary Carr and Gareth Williams.

They had all been due to climb Snowdon the next day, but because of the bad weather, Mr Glaister decided to go to Llandudno instead, the court heard.

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The court was then told that once the group arrived at the resort, Ms Carr and Mr Williams walked with eight of the boys through Happy Valley to Great Orme, but Ben, along with two friends walked slower than the rest of the group, and took a different path.

Mr Pojur said: "The group of three – Ben, Chris and Alex – continued onto the Great Orme and we will hear how they were out of sight.

"You will also have to consider they were unaccompanied and what instructions they had."

Llandudno's Great orme
Image:
Llandudno's Great Orme. File pic

He added that Ms Carr carried on walking up the hill with five of the boys, while Mr Williams met with Mr Glaister, who had been with his son, and they continued to the top of the hill before heading back down into the town.

The court heard that Ben, along with his friends, explored the top of the Orme where he was seen trying to find a way back down.

Philip Taylor witnessed what happened next, with the coroner saying: "He saw Ben standing, edging along a narrow ledge before climbing down to another short step.

"He saw Ben take another short step, moments later slipping and falling.

"He wasn't able to regain his footing nor hold on to anything and he fell onto a steep grass bank below."

Ben had died when the air ambulance arrived, according to the coroner.

The jury was told they would have to weigh up how the trip was organised, the training of the leadership and their knowledge of the area.

They were told to also consider the leaders' communication and instructions to the group, and whether risk assessments had been carried out.

The inquest continues.

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