THE FAMILY of a London pensioner who was found dead two months after he went missing from a specialist housing complex have revealed their hope that an upcoming inquest will provide answers regarding what happened.
Leocardo Loney, who was 82 and had dementia, left Willow House Extra Care Housing in Wembley on August 3 2017. Staff noticed that he was missing the following morning. Loney was fit and able for his age and regularly left his flat alone, only to become lost and later found by police.
Despite an appeal to try and find him, his body was found around 10 miles away in a hedgerow in Breakspear Road on October 17 2017.
Now with the inquest underway at West London Coroner’s Court, Loney’s family has spoken of how they hope to finally gain answers regarding whether the extra care housing facility was able to meet his needs and keep him safe. They will be represented by legal experts from Irwin Mitchell during the process.
Fiona McGhie, Senior Associate Solicitor, said: “Years on from Leocardo’s death, his family remain completely devastated by their loss and the circumstances surrounding it.
“They have long-held many questions about whether there were missed opportunities in the lead up to Leocardo’s death and now hope that this inquest will provide vital answers about whether his placement was safe.”
Loney was born in Trinidad and moved to the UK in 1961. He worked for London Transport for more than 50 years. His daughters Marie Loney and Denise Dooley, are hoping that the upcoming inquest will provide vital answers.
Marie said: “While dementia undoubtedly had a major impact on [my] dad, he remained a fun-loving and happy man. He was relatively fit and healthy, and would always go to church regularly.
“His disappearance had a massive impact on the entire family and we searched tirelessly to try and ensure we could get him home. It was devastating when his body was found and I do not know whether we will ever truly get over the loss.
“We have so many questions regarding what happened and we now hope this inquest will finally mean we get some answers.”
Loney enjoyed travelling around London discovering new places. His daughters described him as a modern man, who loved gardening and singing, and was a very good cook.
Following his disappearance, an appeal was launched to try and find Loney but unfortunately, he was not found until several weeks after he had passed away.
The inquest is listed for four days, where evidence will be heard from the local authority.