Man left partner to die after scalding hot bath saw 'her skin shed from her feet'

281123 STAFFORDSHIRE SCALDING - ITV News Central - Staffordshire Police - Ellen Knight
Clare Bell, 42, died after suffering serious scalding injuries. Credit: Staffordshire Police

Warning: This article contains details some viewers may find distressing

A man who left his partner to die after she was scalded in a bath has been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter.

Mark Clowes, 53, from Audley in Staffordshire, ran the boiling hot bath for 43-year-old Clare Bell at 11am on 9 August 2020.

He then helped her out of it as she had been drinking, police said.

It would have been obvious to Clowes that Ms Bell had suffered serious scald injuries in the incident.

Clowes later told a paramedic that "he saw that her skin had shed from her feet".

He then didn't check on his partner for hours, or call an ambulance, despite knowing she would have been incapable of doing it herself.

More than six hours later at 5.10pm, Clowes rang 999 - but Ms Bell, who was found on their bed, was already dead.She had 30% full-thickness burns - with extensive scalding to her back, bottom, thighs, feet, arms and elbows.

These brutal injuries were consistent with being in a very hot bath - and the pathologist said that the scalding contributed to her death.Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Hannan 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."Clowes will be sentenced on 2 February.

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