THE solicitor who has been trying to get justice for a Bideford school girl, who died during a Ten Tors training expedition in 2007, said it is "desperately sad" the appeal to get compensation from her former school has been lost.
Jennifer Wilkin Shaw has been trying to prove her daughter Charlotte Shaw's school was negligent in their care of the pupils who were carrying out a training expedition on Dartmoor for Ten Tors.
The aim was for Mrs Wilkin Shaw to receive £350,000 compensation from Edgehill College Enterprises Ltd, the trust who ran the school which is now Kingsley School, for her daughter's death.
But today the High Court ruled that although the staff who should have been looking after the pupils were negligent it was too speculative to say that they were the cause of Charlotte's death.
Charles Hattersley, from Ashfords Solicitors, has been representing Mrs Wilkin Shaw for the past five years.
He said there were two main things to come out of the verdict today; the fact the judges did say a teacher at the school was negligent and the message the judges have inadvertently given about giving help when in a hostile environment.
"It is just bizarre really, common sense would tell you that if Kathryn Timms (a teacher) had arrived in time then the group might not have taken the decision to cross the river", he said.
Mr Hattersley added: "It is a big lesson to anyone in a hostile environment not to offer an help because if the scoutmaster Trevor Wills hadn't given advice to the group the chain of causation wouldn't have been broken and more weight might have been given to the teachers' negligence.
"As it was the judges ruled it was too speculative to say. In our view it is a terrible message. I certainly would think twice about giving advice myself now because you are putting yourself in danger.
"It is such a twist at the end and ultimately we have come to the end of the legal remedies.
"Jennifer has realised there is no such thing as justice. Hopefully she has had the best legal support but it is desperately sad for Jennifer. Her primary object was to get justice." Mr Hattersley confirmed that for the five and half year's work a total of £1.5 million has been racked up in legal costs."
Andy Waters, the head teacher at Kingsley School, said: "As has been the case since the tragic death of Charlotte more than six years ago, our thoughts remain with her family and friends and we continue to extend them our deepest sympathy.
"The governors and management of the school have received the Civil Appeal Court judgement but will make no further comment on the case."