Three nurses have been cleared of letting an elderly dementia sufferer spend 12 hours alone outside overnight and covering up her disappearance.

Roland Allotey-Babington, Martin Eyitato and Jean Baba had been accused of failing in their duty of care for Maureen Lawrence, a resident a Langley Oaks in Selsdon, and falsfying records.

Mrs Lawrence, then 76, walked out of the home in Langley Oaks Avenue on the evening of April 18 last year and was not found until the next morning.

Croydon Crown Court heard Mrs Lawrence was "prone to wandering" should have been been checked every 30 minutes by staff.

Mr Baba, 38, of Hastings Road, Addiscombe, was the carer in charge of Mrs Lawrence during the day and had been accused of writing that she had been "walking up and down" in the home when CCTV showed she was outside.

Mr Allotey-Babington, 42, of Walworth, took over from Mr Baba at 8pm while Mr Eyitato, 37, of Islington, was the team leader who Mr Allotey-Babington reported to.

Croydon Guardian:

Martin Eyitato was team leader on the night Mrs Lawrence disappeared

Prosecutor Glenn Carrasco alleged that despite writing on the daily record that Mrs Lawrence was "not around", Mr Allotey-Babington did not launch a search for her or inform Mr Eyitato she was missing.

But Michael Hillman, defence barrister for Mr Allotey-Babington, said deficiencies in management and staff training at the home were to blame for the mistakes.

Questioning Jacqueline Johnson, the home's manager at the time of the disappearance, he said: "I'm going to put it to you that the state of supervision, management and training was really a bit of a shambles."

Ms Johnson answered: "Yes."

She told the court she had been managing the care home for a month and had working to address problems.

All three defendants were charged with wilfully neglecting a person lacking mental capacity but were found not guilty by a jury.

Croydon Guardian:

Croydon Guardian:

Jean Baba, top, and Roland Allotey-Babington

Their trial began earlier this month.

Langley Oaks opened in 2010 as part of Croydon Council’s £38m Homes for the Future programme, designed to improve care for vulnerable elderly people by replacing inadequate buildings.

Care UK has been contracted to run the home for the council since 2011.