Stevenage scout leader, 21, died accidental death
A SCOUT leader died an accidental death while on an expedition in Liechtenstein, an inquest heard today (Thursday). Tom Moore, 21, of Jessop Road in Stevenage, was on a two-week trip with Hertfordshire Scouts in August last year when he fell 1,000ft down
A SCOUT leader died an accidental death while on an expedition in Liechtenstein, an inquest heard today (Thursday).
Tom Moore, 21, of Jessop Road in Stevenage, was on a two-week trip with Hertfordshire Scouts in August last year when he fell 1,000ft down a ravine.
The assistant explorer scout leader, who was a member of Stevenage Scouting, had been alone, exploring an area off the beaten track, at the time of the accident.
Scout leaders notified police that Mr Moore was missing at about 12.45pm on Saturday, August 9, after they realised he had not slept in his tent the night before.
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After calls to hospitals in the area and an initial search of mountain huts, two helicopters were scrambled and a search carried out on foot by mountain rescue using blood hounds.
Mr Moore's parents, Diane and Peter, flew out to Liechtenstein on the Monday and their son's body was found later that day.
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Coroner Edward Thomas said he had died from multiple traumatic injuries and: "He would have died instantaneously." Mrs Moore sobbed at hearing this and was comforted by her teenage daughter, Maxine.
Mr Thomas continued: "He was a very, very experienced mountain walker. He knew what he was doing.
"The weather had been pretty poor and it had rained a lot, particularly on the Thursday evening. It was damp and foggy."
He suggested Mr Moore had slipped and fallen to his death.
Mr Thomas also suggested that help from the local authorities was not summoned quickly enough. He said it was apparent on Saturday morning that Mr Moore had not slept in his tent on Friday night, and yet the police were not called until lunchtime.
"I wonder whether the police might have been notified earlier," he said. "My judgment is that he died instantaneously, so it would not have made any difference, but it is possible somebody in the future might be severely injured and not dead. The sooner they are found, the better."
Addressing Hertfordshire Scouts representative, Michael Aston, Mr Thomas said: "The clarity of where people are going needs to be reinforced." He said there also needs to be "more certainty as to expectations on what time people might be coming back."
Mr Moore, a former head boy at Barclay School in Stevenage, was studying environmental science at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
He had been in the scout movement since he was six and had been hiking in mountainous areas since he was 13.
He was a Queen's scout, who had been presented with a variety of awards including the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award and the Explorer Belt after spending a month doing community work in Uganda.
The Stevenage scouting network which Mr Moore helped to set up is going to be named after him.
Mr Thomas said: "He seemed a lovely boy. Someone described him as 'belonging to the mountains' and that's the impression I get.
"I notice he was very, very productive and supportive of the environment and that was translated in his wish to do something about it by being a committed member of the Green Party.
"He was a person a lot of people admired."
Addressing Mr Moore's family, Mr Thomas continued: "It must be dreadful for you. Nothing I can say can take away how awful this is, how sad it is for you. He must be dearly missed."
Verdict: Accidental death