A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his partner after she was extensively scalded in a bath.
Mark Clowes, 53, of Audley, Staffordshire, was found guilty of the gross negligence manslaughter of his 42-year-old partner Clare Bell today (Tuesday 28 November) following an almost three-week trial at Stafford Crown Court.
On 9 August 2020 at 11am, Clowes gave Clare a hot bath and then helped her out of it. She was incapable as she had been drinking. It would have been obvious to Mark that Clare had suffered serious scald injuries. He later remarked to a paramedic that he saw that her skin had shed from her feet.
Clowes didn’t check on Clare for a number of hours or seek medical attention despite him being aware of her being incapable of doing this for herself. At 5.10pm, on 9 August, Clowes called 999 and asked for an ambulance. Sadly, Clare, who was found on their bed, had already died.
Clare had 30 per cent full thickness burns - extensive scalding to her back, bottom, thighs, feet, arms and elbows – consistent with being in very hot bath. The pathologist said that the scalding contributed to her death.
Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Hannan, of the force’s Major Investigations Department, said: “I welcome today’s verdict. Clare should have been able to trust Mark to look after her when she was incapable. He didn’t do anything for Clare until it was too late.
“We employed a number of different experts to determine what took place that day. As well as a forensic pathologist, we employed the services of a specialist burns expert and a toxicology expert.
“Our thoughts remain with Clare’s family and I hope they can take some comfort in the guilty verdict.”