A disabled man was scalded to death in a bath during a holiday with his carer.

Douglas Wickenden, who had Down ’s syndrome, was on a weekend break in Bognor with care workers Lucky Okologume and Kamila Nait-Mouloud when tragedy struck in August last year.

An inquest was told the 63-year-old, who was a long term resident at Surrey-based care home SeeAbility, had been “treated” to a bath at the Invicta Warren bungalow in Elmer Sands.

A statement from Mr Okologume, 43, which was read to the court, said: “Normally he has showers but this time I thought he could have a bath as a treat because it would be more relaxing.”

Mr Okologume ran the bath and checked the temperature was correct.

Moments later he left Mr Wickenden, who cannot communicate verbally, alone so he could get a shower chair.

When he returned he noticed the skin was peeling off Mr Wickenden’s legs.

He called the emergency services and Mr Wickenden was taken to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester before being moved to a specialist burns unit at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

An examination showed he was suffering 13% burns from the waist downwards.

Despite treatment Mr Wickenden lost consciousness and died from bronchopneumonia on August 21.

Mr Okologume and Miss Nait-Mouloud were arrested by Sussex Police on suspicion of wilful neglect but later released.

The investigation concluded that while Mr Okologume was out of the room Mr Wickenden may have turned on the hot top himself.

Chief Executive of See Ability David Scott-Ralph said new guidance for taking residents away on holiday had been introduced since Mr Wickenden’s death.

He said: “SeeAbility has heartfelt regret and is devastated by the death of Douglas.

“It is an unprecedented situation for the charity which takes Health and Safety extremely seriously.”

Coroner for West Sussex Penelope Schofield recorded a verdict of 'tragic accident' and praised the charity for their help with the police investigation.