A BRADFORD on Avon man is still seeking answers into his father’s tragic death at a Westbury care home.

Former Japanese prisoner of war Frederick John Baxter died overnight on February 12/13 last year, just six days short of his 98th birthday.

Mr Baxter, of The Croft, Trowbridge, who lived with vascular dementia, was found dead in the garden of Greengates Care Home on Redland Lane, having managed to get outside. Two post-mortems failed to establish conclusively if he had suffered a fatal heart attack or died from hypothermia.

It is understood no-one knew he was missing until his body was found. His family say he should have been checked on at regular intervals.

His son, John Baxter, 67, a former local government senior manager, of Deverell Close, Bradford on Avon, said: “All we want are some explanations as to why my father died and to make sure that it never happens again to anyone who is in any other care home.

“As much as anything else, we just want closure. We have never had so much as an apology from the owner or staff of the care home.”

He and his sister Vanessa had both visited their father at the care home on the evening before he died.

“He was confused because he had lost his glasses. Without his own glasses, his eyesight would have been poor.

“He was also wearing the wrong trousers. Somebody had put tracksuit bottoms on him, which he never normally wore,” his son said.

“We can only surmise that, at some time during the evening, he found a door that was open to the outside and went through it.

“We don’t know how long he was outside, it could have been eight or nine hours, but he wasn’t found until after 5am the next morning.”

An inquest into Mr Baxter Snr’s death opened in Salisbury last June and was adjourned. It is not yet known when it will be resumed.

Police submitted a file on his death to the Director of Public Prosecutions but they decided just before Christmas not to prosecute.

Ironically, the Baxter family had chosen Greengates on the strength of its Outstanding rating, gained the previous September 2016.

The care home was closed on September 25 last year following a two-day Care Quality Commission inspection on July 26 and 27.

The CQC found the home to be ‘inadequate’ in terms of offering a safe, well-led and effective service, and ‘requires improvement’ in relation to providing a caring and responsive service.

The family is now waiting to see whether the CQC will decide to take action against former Greengates management and staff - and have not ruled out taking them to court independently.

“Initially, the family did not wish to take out a private prosecution because We did not wish to affect the care being received by the remaining people at the home,” Mr Baxter said. “We felt that if there was a private prosecution it could lead to the closure of the home.”

Since the care home’s closure, and the DPS decision not to prosecute anyone, they have consulted solicitors.