Scout leader sentenced over boy’s hiking death

Malcolm Curtis
Malcolm Curtis - [email protected]
Scout leader sentenced over boy’s hiking death
The Pointe de Paray in winter. Photo: Ludovic Péron

The leader of a scout camp guilty of negligence in the mountain hiking death of a 13-year-old boy received a suspended sentence from a police court in the canton of Fribourg on Tuesday.


The 31-year-old man was handed a fine of 36,000 francs, suspended for a period of two years, after admitting to his role in the death of the teen almost two years ago during an excursion, local daily La Liberté reported online.

The victim died on August 3rd after falling from a steep slope in the region Pointe de Paray, a mountain in the Bernese Alps above Grandvillard in the canton of Fribourg.

The scout leader was blamed for under-estimating the risks of a hike for which he over-estimated the capabilities of the young boys, La Liberté said.

Among several acts of negligence, the leader did not take sufficient account of an unfavorable weather forecast, the newspaper reported.

He also remained unreachable by mobile phone when the young scouts in difficulty tried to call him for help.

The accident occurred while separate groups of scouts were in the process of conducting a two-day walk through the mountains, according to earlier media reports.

The victim was among a group of four scouts who lost their way after taking the wrong path.

After walking until 1am they slept on rocks without knowing where they were.

The following day they walked down a sleep slope and the victim slipped and plunged 300 metres.

The scout leader acknowledged his responsibility back in February when the prosecution and his defence lawyer agreed to the suspended penalty.

That penalty was confirmed, through a simplified process, by a police court in the Gruyère region.


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