Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 16:47 UK

Carer 'killed woman in bed fire'

A care assistant killed a dementia patient at a Cheshire care home by setting fire to her bed, a court heard.

Christopher Bowyer, 25, watched Mary Bennett, 79, burn in her single bed then said he knew nothing about what happened, Chester Crown court heard.

Mr Bowyer had previously tried to torch the curtains in another patient's room at Clayton Manor Care Home in Congleton, it was alleged.

The care assistant denies murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

Prosecutor Elwen Evans QC told the court that Mr Bowyer, who had worked at the home for five years, had admitted killing Mrs Bennett at the time of his arrest.

Ms Evans said Mrs Bennett was severely affected with Alzheimer's and dementia so could not move or communicate when her quilt was set alight.

"He had quite deliberately armed and equipped himself with at least one cigarette lighter of the disposable type," Ms Evans said.

"He left Mrs Bennett to her fate in the burning room and went about his business pretending he had been nowhere near the fire."

The case continues.



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