Ben Leonard inquest: Sunday Times details other children who died on Scout trips | Fieldfisher
Skip to main content

Ben Leonard inquest: Sunday Times details other children who died on Scout trips

The verdict of unlawful killing by two Scout leaders, contributed to by neglect by the Scouts has been widely reported by the press covering the inquest into Ben Leonard's death.

"We've lived in limbo for years. We've been unable to move forward, now Ben can be in peace" - Manchester Evening News

Boy, 16, who fell to death during scouts’ trip was unlawfully killed, jury finds | UK news | The Guardian

Scout Association referred to police over boy unlawfully killed on trip (

Jill Greenfield, Harvinder Kaur and Harriet Salvesen-Sawh represented the family at the inquest and previously settled a civil claim on their behalf.

Scouts 'think they're above the law,' Ben Leonard's parents says after his death | ITV News

What has become clear is that historic deaths of other children in the care of the Scouts were not fully investigated at the time, including the deaths of Scott Fanning, Alan Locke, Roy Holland and Jack Saunders.

 It is likely the families did not have legal representation at inquest while the Scout Association did. Scott Fanning's inquest lasted half a day and an accidental death verdict was recorded.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Scott's mother Sharon Collins said: "I've said to Jackie and Dave I'm sorry because I should have done more. But going through these, I did do a lot; they just didn't listen.'

Despite coroner Barrie Williams concluding at Scott's inquest that with proper planning the incident would have been preventable and calling for better training for Scout leaders, Ben Leonard died in very similar circumstances 20 years later.

Assistant Coroner David Pojur who presided over Ben's inquest in front of a jury will now write to a list of Government ministers setting out his concerns about safety procedures within the Scouts. Ben and Scott's mothers meanwhile have called for an independent inquiry into how the Scott Association is run.

Jill Greenfield will also write to the Home Secretary listing her concerns about the Scouts Association. Jill also commented in the press that without the level of legal investigation enabled by the civil claim, families are unlikely to get the answers that Ben's family did at inquest. Jackie and Dave Leonard both said that they had no idea that they needed legal support.

In evidence in front of the jury, the Scouts admitted that the attitude of senior leadership was the hope that the Leonard family did not have lawyers.

Jill said: 'It's yet another David and Goliath situation where normal people come up against the power of a big organisation that is fully lawyered up and are then railroaded into accepting less justice than they deserve.

'Part of the problem is that families do not as a matter of course get legal support at inquest unless, as in the Leonard's family's circumstances, the civil claim allowed the huge task of unravelling tens of thousands of pages of disclosure that otherwise would likely been overlooked.'

Sign up to our email digest

Click to subscribe or manage your email preferences.


Related expertise

Personal Injury Claims