Carer Denies Killing OAP

19 April 2011, 15:05

Jurors have been discharged in the trial of a care home worker accused of killing an elderly resident by setting fire to her room.

Laundry worker Rebecca Reasbeck, 20, wanted to ``gain attention and act the heroine'', by setting Irene Herring's room alight at Ancaster Court in Hastings Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, Lewes Crown Court heard.

But her plan backfired, the court heard, and although firefighters rescued Mrs Herring, 86, she suffered severe smoke inhalation and died in hospital the next day.

During the two-and-a-half week trial jurors heard how Reasbeck, then 18, was the only person in the Bupa home who said she smelled smoke on the morning of February 1 2009.

Specialist fire investigators later found that two separate fires had deliberately been set in her room.

Reasbeck denied a charge of manslaughter. She was also accused of an alternative charge of murder but it was dropped last week.

Jurors had retired to deliberate their verdict yesterday morning.

Judge Anthony Scott-Gall said a date for a retrial would be set at a further hearing on May 6.