A HOMELESS man who burnt to death in a New Malden street visited Tolworth Hospital “desperate for social assistance” just two weeks before his death.

Colin Edwards, 51, was found on fire outside Clear House in Kingston Road after a cigarette set light to his sleeping bag on March 6, 2015. He had been sleeping in a nearby car park. He died three days later at Broomfield Hospital in Essex.

A report by Kingston Council and South West London and St George’s mental health NHS trust (SWLSTG) said Mr Edwards visited the trust on Thursday, February 19. It said: “The patient must have been desperate for social assistance as ordinarily he did not want to engage with services.

“The patient had a fear that he would be hospitalised if he engaged with services. [Workers] reported encouraging the patient to link in with services this time.”

Mr Edwards visited the trust at Tolworth Hospital again shortly afterwards and said he needed shoes, though the details of the visit were not recorded due to an administrative error.

Investigators said: “Although [staff] took the right course of action in terms of the care and treatment offered the patient, they failed to follow through with the trust administrative processes.”

An SWLSTG spokesman said: “Staff were deeply saddened by Mr Edwards’ tragic death and we continue to extend our condolences to his family.”

Mr Edwards had been known to St Peter’s Church in Norbiton, and had stayed at the YMCA in Surbiton in 2009.

In the weeks following his death friends claimed Mr Edwards had been let down by authorities and “no one wanted to help him”.