THIRTY-NINE youngsters who saw Scout pal Elliot Peacock die in a freak accident have arrived home.
There were emotional scenes as the young teens were reunited with parents desperate to hold their children in their arms and comfort them after their nightmare trip.
Counsellors were also on hand to help the grieving teenagers cope with losing Elliot, 14, who died last Sunday after jumping into the Lillaz Falls in the Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy.
Half of the Scout group flew back to Scotland and the other half returned by coach.
Elliot's parents Scott, 51, and Colette, 53, are still in northern Italy facing an agonising wait for court permission to bring their son home.
A Scout Association spokesman said: "I can confirm that the Scout leaders and young people have now returned home.
"They have asked that we respect their privacy at this sad time."
Outdoor education provider Acorn Adventure said the Scouts were "gorge scrambling", which involves walking up and down a gorge and jumping from a low level into pools, when the accident happened.
Elliot was part of a group on the second full day of their nine-day adventure Scout trip with Eastwood District Scouts when tragedy struck. Post mortem results revealed that Elliot drowned after leaping just 2ft into the deep river pool and inhaling the freezing water.
Earlier this week Elliot's head teacher at Eastwood High School said the entire school community was "profoundly saddened".
Mr Maxwell added: "Elliot was a genuinely lovely boy, well-liked and well-mannered. He would always say hello when he met you around the school.
"Everyone knew him as a nice, polite, quiet lad.
"We have been deeply moved to see so many of Elliot's friends and pupils from the wider school community arrive at the school to lay flowers and leave cards in tribute to him."
BRIAN SWEENEY -PAGE 24