Brent Council has apologised for the “severe failings” that led to the death of a man with dementia who went missing from a care home.

It comes following an inquest into the death of Leocardo Loney, who was found in a hedge in October 2017, ten weeks after he disappeared from Willow House Extra Care Housing in Wembley.

The coroner found that the council’s social services department, which had placed Mr Loney in Willow House, was partly responsible for his death.

West London Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Loney had left the facility unaccompanied on several occasions and had been located as far away as Heathrow Airport and by the side of the M1 motorway.

Staff at Willow House had voiced their concerns to the council about his safety, but coroner Dr Sean Cummings described its response as “cumulatively languid”.

He said the council was fixated on providing the least restrictive measures as opposed to protecting Mr Loney’s wellbeing.

The 82-year-old went missing on 3 August 2017 and, following a search effort, was found in a hedgerow in Breakspear Road – around ten miles away – several weeks later on October 17.

A spokesperson for Brent Council said: “We are deeply sorry about the untimely death of Mr Loney and we have offered the family our deepest apologies and condolences.

“Despite his advancing dementia Mr Loney was happy and social and enjoyed where he lived very much.

“Everybody involved in caring for Mr Loney worked tirelessly to strike a balance between keeping him safe and exploring the community which was one of the main things that made him happy.

“The coroner has indicated that we got the balance wrong between Mr Loney’s safety and enabling him to maintain a lifestyle that made him happy.

“This is a challenging area of work. In response to the tragic circumstances of Mr Loney’s death we will continue to work with relevant partners so that every lesson is learned, every risk understood, and every step is taken to ensure, as far as possible, that this does not happen again.”

Mr Loney’s daughters, Marie Loney and Denise Dooley, said they want councils to take note of their father’s case to improve in the future.

In a statement, they said: “Some very worrying issues have been raised at the hearing and we now hope that local authorities learn lessons from Dad’s case in order to prevent other families facing what we have.

“It is absolutely vital that those with dementia and other vulnerable people can always access the care and support that they need.”