Student plunges 1,000 feet to his death

AN East Anglian student has plunged 1,000ft down a ravine to his death as he helped to lead a scout expedition in Liechtenstein.

AN East Anglian student has plunged 1,000ft down a ravine to his death as he helped to lead a scout expedition in Liechtenstein.

Tom Moore, 21, was on a two-week trip to the tiny European Alpine state with Hertfordshire Scouts when the tragedy happened.

His shattered mum Diane Moore, 48, said last night: “We are in complete shock and are totally devastated."

Assistant explorer scout leader Tom, a member of Stevenage Scouting, travelled to Liechtenstein with 50 other scouts.

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But towards the end of the trip the University of East Anglia student decided to go walking on his own up the Mittagsspitz mountain.

Tom, of Stevenage informed colleagues he was going to walk local ridges and took with him a day sack, money and his passport.

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He said he would return in time to join the main party on its scheduled return to the UK last Saturday morning.

But when he failed to turn up worried members of his scouting team alerted local police and a massive search was launched in the mountains.

Tom's shocked family were told hours later he had vanished and his mum Diane and dad Pete, 51, flew straight out to Liechtenstein as the desperate hunt took place.

A helicopter was deployed and sniffer dogs sent out with mountain guides as fears grew for Tom.

His body was found by search teams on Monday at the bottom of a ravine.

Mrs Moore said from Liechtenstein: “Tom was an experienced scout so it's a mystery why this happened.

“He had been in the scout movement since he was six and had been hiking in mountainous areas since he was 13. We think he slipped and fell.”

She added: “We're a very close-knit family and it's the worst thing that could have happened.

“But we had to bear in mind that when he went off on these adventures, we knew there was a possibility this could happen.

“But we know from texts and photos that he was having the time of his life.”

Tom, the former head boy at Barclay School, Stevenage, was studying environmental science at the UEA in Norwich.

Mrs Moore said: “Tom was the friendliest, most outgoing person you could meet. He knew lots of people and was into so much.

“He was passionately 'green' and into recycling and although he could drive he would cycle everywhere.

“He also stood for the Green Party here in the May local elections, representing Pin Green and Martins Wood, and he was hoping he would become an MP for the Green Party.”

Tom, a proud Queen's Scout, had won a string of leading awards in his outstanding scouting career.

They included the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award and the Explorer Belt after spending a month doing community work in Uganda in East Africa.

“Every accolade Tom got, he fully deserved,” said Mrs Moore. “He had a fantastic future ahead of him and was planning on going to Mongolia, China and Russia next year.”

Sarah White, a close family friend from Stevenage, said: “Tom has achieved everything he set out to do and would have gone on to achieve so much more.

“This is absolutely heartbreaking for his family and many friends.”

Tom's brother Andrew, 20, and sister Maxine, 16, have also been left distraught by his shock death.

A Scout Association spokesman said: “All our thoughts are with Tom's family at this sad time.”

A date for Tom's funeral has yet to be fixed.

His parents were expected to fly home with his body today.

Liechtenstein, which has a population of just 35,000, is a tiny doubly landlocked country in Western Europe, bordered by Switzerland to its west and by Austria to its east.

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